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Blue Jays Week in Review: AL Wildcard Heats Up

As the season continues to wind down, it’s looking more and more like the Jays have a shot at the postseason. Every game is important, and the Blue Jays had 6 more big games this week. 3 up against Minnesota, and 3 against Tampa Bay. 

Game 1: Jays 3 – 7 Twins

This game can be pinpointed to the 3rd inning as the reason for the loss. Toronto had a 2-1 lead going into the 3rd thanks to a throwing error by Jorge Polanco, and a Jake Lamb double. Hyun Jin Ryu unfortunately couldn’t get an out in the 3rd before being relieved from the game. Ryu gave up 5 runs and a couple of home runs, one of which was from former Jay Josh Donaldson. Vladdy Guerrero Jr hit his 46th homer of the season, but the Jays couldn’t battle back, and dropped game 1. 

Game 2: Jays 6 – 2 Twins

This game it was Toronto that would have the break out inning to decide the game. Steven Matz was on the hill for the Jays, and even though he gave up a 2-run HR to Donaldson in the 1st, he was solid the rest of his outing. It was 2-0 Twins until the 4th inning, when Marcus Semien and Teoscar Hernandez both hit 2-run homers. Bo Bichette added a 2-RBI single in the 7th and the Toronto bullpen did the rest to even the series. 

Game 3: Jays 5 – 3 Twins

A huge 1st inning for Toronto was able to get them off on the right foot for the rubber match. Guerrero Jr got it started with an RBI single, then Bo Bichette hit a 2-run HR, and then RBI singles from both Lourdes Gurriel Jr and Breyvic Valera had the Jays up 5-0. Jose Berrios went 6 2/3 innings for Toronto, and he held the Twins to just 3 runs. Again, the bullpen did its job, and Jordan Romano picked up his 19th save of the season.

Jays Series Standout:

Bo Bichette will get the nod for this series, as he had the big 2 RBI single late in game 2, and the 2-run HR in the 3rd game. 

Game 1: Jays 4 – 6 Rays 

The Jays were able to get 2-0 lead by the 5th inning thanks to a 2nd inning solo home run by Teoscar Hernandez, and a solo shot from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Robbie Ray was on the mound and he was alright until the 5th, where a 3-run homer by Yandy Diaz ended his night after 4 2/3 innings. Tampa bay would add a run in the 6th, 7th, and 8th to make it 6-2. The Jays battled late and were able to get 2 back from a Marcus Semien HR, but ultimately fell 6-4. 

Game 2: Jays 4 – 2 Rays 

This was a back-and-fourth game throughout, and started with the Rays taking a 1-0 lead in the 2nd. Breyvic Valera would get that back in the 3rd with an RBI fielders choice. In the 5th, both teams would score 1, Gurriel Jr with a solo homer, and Joey Wendle RBI single. Bo Bichette would hit a sac fly in the 6th, and Teo Hernandez singled in a run in the 8th, to give the Jays the 4-2 lead. Jordan Romano made it interesting in the 9th when he loaded the bases, but was able to get out of trouble and earn his 20th save of the year. 

Game 3: Jays 1 – 7 Rays 

The rubber match never looked in doubt for Tampa Bay, as they put up 6 runs in the 3rd inning off of Ross Stripling and Taylor Saucedo. It was a bullpen day for the Jays where they used 6 pitchers all going 1-2 innings. We did have some fireworks late, as Kevin Kiermaier was hit by Ryan Borucki with heater right in the back. This was deemed intentional by the Rays because of Kiermaier stealing a play card from the Jays in the second game of the series. The benches would clear, but cooler heads would prevail and the Rays would take the game, and clinched a spot in the postseason in the process. 

Jays Series Standout:

The Jays series standout for this one is Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The Jays didn’t have much going on offensively in the series, but Gurriel Jr did hit 2 dingers. 

As it stands right now, the Jays are on the outside looking in, but things can change very quickly. The Jays have a 4 game series with the Twins, that starts tonight, meanwhile the Red Sox play the Yankees in a 3 game series starting tomorrow. The next 4 games for the Jays are massive, as long as they win, the automatically gain some ground. After the Twins they have the Yankees for a 3 game series. The biggest week of the Jays weekend starts tonight!

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. 

As always, make sure to check out all the latest posts at Hot Sauce Sports and stop by our Youtube channel for all the podcast and interviews.

Here is the latest episode of the Chtib and Zhang show, where the boys are talking UFC and NFL.

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