Rays Even Series With Blue Jays With 2-1 VictoryFollow @Steve_Kinsella1
St. Petersburg, Fla – Kevin Kiermaier delivered a pinch hit walkoff single in the 10th inning as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 on Saturday night.
It was Kiermaier’s third walk-off hit of his career and second this season, also July 26th against the Blue Jays. He’s the only player in the majors with multiple walk-off hits this season.
The Jays and Rays playing close games is nothing new. The last four games and six of the last eight games between the Rays and Blue Jays have been decided by two runs (or fewer), including four one-run games.
Anthony Banda (1-0, 6.75 ERA) picks up the win for Tampa Bay who improve to 18-10 on the season.
“The highlight for me is Anthony Banda. What AB (Anhtony Banda) did.” Kevin Cash said. “We’re almost putting the guy in an unfair position. Hasn’t had the rep’s hasn’t had the opportunities and here come into a tie ball game with a guy on second base and you didn’t put him there somebody else did.”
Cash believes that after the four pitch to Biggio that a conversation with pitching coach Kyle Snyder did a lot to help Banda regain his composure. “I think Kyle went out there and just kind of pumped him up and said ‘just trust your stuff a little bit here and let the defense play behind you’ and Mike Brosseau‘s two double plays were pretty special.”
Anthony Bass (1-1, 2.13 ERA) takes the loss for Toronto whose record falls to 13-12.
Aaron Slegers, making his first start with the Rays and first game in the majors since July of 2018, was fantastic.
He gave the Rays everything they could have hoped for and more going four scoreless innings. He didn’t allow a hit, nor a walk and struck out five batters.
Slegers said the plan was simple, “provide the team a little length, throw the ball over the plate, and keep it close.”
Sean Gilmartin followed Slegers to the mound and walked in the Blue Jays only run of the night in the fifth inning.
Tampa Bay got tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth inning. Willy Adames led off with a single, moved to third on a Joey Wendle single, and scored on a fielders choice off the bat of Manuel Margot.
The Rays pitchers were also aided by three double plays. In the sixth inning Travis Shaw and Teoscar Hernandez opened the frame with singles. Vlad Guerrero Jr. grounded to Mike Brosseau who threw to Willy Adames who fired back to Ryan Thompson to complete the play.
In the 9th and 10th innings Mike Brosseau started double plays by stepping on first and throwing the runner out at 2nd for the tag out.
Toronto also made a baserunning gaffe of their own. With Cavan Biggio at 2nd and 2-out Randal Grichuk struckout. Pete Fairbanks pitch got by Mike Zunino and rolled toward the Toronto dugout. Biggio tried to score from second on the play but was thrown out at home.
Diaz Late Scratch From Lineup:
Just before the first pitch, Yandy Diaz was removed from the starting lineup and replaced by Joey Wendle. Diaz was having some dizziness after being struck in the face by his own batted ball on a ricochet during batting practice.
Rays Place Roe On Injured List:
Prior to Saturday’s game Tampa Bay placed reliever Chaz Roe on the 10-day IL with a sore elbow. The move is retroactive to August 20th.
Left hander Sean Gilmartin was recalled from the alternate site and added to the roster. To make room for Gilmartin on the 40-man roster, Yonny Chirinos (torn UCL) was moved from the 10-day IL to the 45-day IL.