I feel like a start these articles often with this sentence, but here we are…The Jays are coming off another week of .500 baseball, going 3-3 over their last 6 games. They are still in the hunt in the AL East, but the Red Sox are starting to pull away. Toronto have 6 games this week, all against divisional opponents. A big 3 game series against Tampa Bay, and 3 games against the Baltimore Orioles.
Game 1: Jays 11 – 1 Rays
The first game of the week couldn’t have gone any better for Toronto. George Springer got things going in the 1st inning with his 4th homer of the season to make it 2-0. The Jays would manufacture another 4 runs in the 2nd, and HR’s by Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero Jr in the 7th would put this away for good. The big story was Alek Manoah having his best start of his career. He went 7 shutout innings, while only giving up 3 hits, and striking out 10! It was a great overall team performance, and great way to start the series.
Game 2: Jays 6 – 3 Rays
This game started out the same way game 1 did, with George Springer giving the Jays the 1-0 lead via the long ball. Ross Stripling was on the mound for the Jays, and had a solid performance. He went 5 2/3 innings, only giving 1 run on a Manuel Margot HR in the 4th. With the game tied at 1 in the 6th inning, the Jays offence would break out. Toronto would load the bases with 1 out, when Lourdes Gurriel Jr would score Vladdy on a throwing error. Cavan Biggio would score 2 more runs on a bloop single to left, before Santiago Espinal would cap off the inning with a 2-run HR. The Rays would add 2 in the 9th but it wouldn’t be enough, and Toronto would take this game 6-3.
Game 3: Jays 1 – 5 Rays
The Jays unfortunately couldn’t get themselves the sweep in game 3. Randal Grichuk would get Toronto on the board early when he would hit his 15th home run of the season to give the Jays a 1-0 lead. Robbie Ray went 7 innings giving up 2 runs, and because of the lack of offence by the Toronto, that would be enough for Tampa. The Rays would also add 3 more in the 9th inning to really put the game out of reach.
Jays Series Standout:
I’m going to give this one to George Springer. He had 2 homers in this series, and if he can get into a groove, the opposing pitching could be in trouble.
Before the next series, the Blue Jays made a trade. They sent Rowdy Tellez to the Milwaukee Brewers for RHP’s Trevor Richards and Bowden Francis.
Game 1: Jays 5 – 7 Orioles
Vladdy Guerrero would get the Jays on the board first in the 1st inning with a sac fly off Spenser Watkins who was making his first MLB start. Watkins pitched pretty well and only allowed that 1 run in 5 innings of work. Steven Matz was on mound for Toronto, and had everything under control until the 4th inning, where Pedro Severino hit a 2-run homer to give Baltimore the 2-1 lead. The 5th inning was a struggle also, as 2-run homers from Cedrick Mullins and Anthony Santander had the Orioles up 7-1 through 5. The Jays would try to claw back, and would get HR’s from both Randal Grichuk and Vladdy, but in the end, it wouldn’t be enough and the Jays would lose 7-5.
Game 2: Jays 10 – 2 Orioles
Game 2 of the series was a much different game for Toronto. Vladdy, Grichuk, and Biggio would all drive in a run in the 1st inning, to give the Jays the 3-0 lead. Then in the 4th, the Jays would add another 3 runs courtesy Gurriel Jr, Bichette, and Guerrero. The Jays offence was rolling in this game, and so was ace Hyun Jin Ryu. Ryu went 5 innings, only allowing 1 run, and striking out 7. Bo Bichette would add a 2-run homer in the 6th, and the Jays would eventually take game 2 by the score of 10-2.
Game 3: Postponed
Game 3 would be postponed, and for now, this series is a split.
Jays Series Standout:
I’m going to give this one to Vladdy Guerrero Jr, as he chipped in with 4 more RBI’s in the 2 games, and is up to 73 RBI’s for the season!
So even though the Jays only went 3-2 over the 5 games this week, it was big to have at least made up some ground on Tampa Bay. The Jays will have another chance at the Rays in a 3 game set over the weekend, and that will take them into the All-Star Break.
You can catch every inning of Toronto Blue Jays baseball on Rogers Sportsnet, and check in here weekly at Hot Sauce Sports for the breakdown.
Here is the latest episode of the Chtib and Zhang show, where the boys are talking hockey, NBA Finals and the upcoming UFC 264.