Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Toronto Blue Jays 2, Tampa Bay Rays 3

The Blue Jays lose a nail-biter in extra innings after a pitching duel between Sanchez and Archer earlier in the game.

Toronto

2

Tampa Bay

3

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 5 1
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 8 0

W: E. Ramírez 1-0
L: C. Lawrence 0-1

The Starter

A-

A. Sanchez

0-0 | 7.0 IP | 1 (1) | 4 H | 3 BB | 6 K |
101 PC, B: 42, S: 59 | 1.29 ERA

First start of the season for youngster Sanchez. Entering his second year in the starting rotation and his 42nd career start, Aaron was very good early in this game, countering Archer for Tampa Bay through the first two frames.

A small hiccup in the 3rd when Mallex Smith reached scoring position on an infield hit and a steal. Sanchez quickly closed the door on the Rays by inducing a pop-fly and a ground-out to end the inning.

The 4th inning saw a couple of baserunners for Tampa on a walk and single with two outs, but Sanchez fanned Logan Morrison to escape another pinch. The highlight of his game came when he struck out Kiermaier on three pitches to start the 4th.

Aaron was unravelling a bit in the 5th inning, allowing a lead-off single to Derek Norris who would come around to score. His pitch count was rising fast in this inning, which included a four pitch walk and a single. However, Sanchez didn’t lose his composure. He escaped with minimal damage and proceeded to cruise through the next inning in order.

Although Smith drew a walk in the 7th, Sanchez once again got out of the inning with a clutch strikeout of Corey Dickerson to end the frame. After 101 pitches, Aaron Sanchez ended his day on his own terms by closing out the 7th with authority.

Strong outing for Aaron – his fastball was crisp and hitting 98 mph on the radar gun regularly. A lingering blister problem did not seem to bother him at all tonight. Great way to start the year for Sanchez.

The Hitting

D
Player H-AB R RBI BB SO 2B-3B-HR SB AVG OBP Slug
D. Travis 0-5 0 0 0 1 0-0-0 0 .158 .200 .158
J. Donaldson 1-4 1 1 1 2 0-0-0 0 .350 .458 .550
J. Bautista 0-4 0 0 1 4 0-0-0 0 .105 .250 .105
K. Morales 1-5 0 0 0 2 0-0-0 0 .190 .261 .381
T. Tulowitzki 1-4 0 1 0 0 0-0-0 0 .143 .182 .333
S. Pearce 0-4 0 0 0 2 0-0-0 0 .176 .176 .176
R. Martin 0-2 1 0 2 0 0-0-0 0 .000 .353 .000
J. Smoak 1-3 0 0 0 1 0-0-0 0 .333 .375 .467
E. Carrera 0-0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .333 .333 .444
K. Pillar 1-4 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .316 .350 .316

Hard throwing starter Chris Archer was on-point to start the game for the Rays, retiring the first 12 batters he faced. He looked really sharp and was placing his pitches just out of reach for Blue Jays hitters. When Archer got a little bit sloppy in the bottom of the 4th, the Toronto batters were unable to capitalize – albeit on only a couple of missed pitches.

Kendrys Morales, who has a favorable history against Archer, got a lead-off single in the 5th for the first hit of the ball game for Toronto. He wouldn’t advance any further on the bases as Steve Pearce grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

Donaldson and Bautista drew back-to-back walks to open the 7th, showing good patience to try to wear Archer down and raise his pitch count. Tulowitzki would drive Donaldson in from third base to tie the game 1-1.

The Blue Jays were in business in the 8th when Russell Martin reached third on a walk and advancing on a single by Smoak. Josh Donaldson hit a clutch single up the middle to give the Jays a 2-1 lead and get Archer out of the game after throwing 114 pitches. Unfortunately, that would conclude the scoring for Toronto on the game.

The hitting tonight was lacklustre from Toronto. Sure they had to face Chris Archer who was really good, but they had many chances to win the game tonight which they did not capitalize on. They struck out 12 times and that never helps the cause.

The Bullpen

C+
Player IP R ER H BB SO PC (B-S) ERA
J. Biagini (0-0) 2.0 1 1 2 2 1 30 (15-15) 1.69
J. Grilli (0-1) 1.0 0 0 1 1 1 23 (13-10) 3.38
C. Lawrence (L, 0-1) 0.2 1 1 1 3 1 14 (6-8) 13.50

Joe Biagini entered the 8th and gave up a hit to Evan Longoria and a walk to Brad Miller. Steven Souza would drive Longoria in on a single to center field to tie the game 2-2. A couple of fly balls got Biagini off the hook, but it was not the inning he was looking for. Bad news for Biagini continued in the 9th with a lead-off walk to the speedy Mallex Smith who eventually reached third but didn’t score. Biagini has had better days on the mound, but held onto the tied game in the 9th.

In the bottom of the 10th, Jason Grilli got the ball and battled with Evan Longoria before getting him to fly out to first base. The next two batters, Miller and Souza reached base on an infield single and a walk. Grilli was fired up after striking out Rickie Weeks Jr. to end the inning and escape a jam.

Making his first appearance in the majors, Casey Lawrence took the mound in the 11th inning after being called up from Buffalo earlier in the day. He was thrown into the fire against Mallex Smith who doubled to right to lead the inning off. John Gibbons signaled the walks of Dickerson and Kiermaier to load the bases with one out. Lawrence struck out Longoria, but walked Brad Miller to lose the game. Hopefully the Jays will give Lawrence another chance to pitch after this tough inning because he looked pretty good at times. What a tough first go in the majors!

The Rays hitters were tenacious against the bullpen tonight and gave them a very hard time.

Notable Hitters

J. Bautista

0-4 | 1 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 4 K | 0 SB | AVG: .105, OBP: .250, Slug: .105

Has seen better days at the plate, 4 strikeouts.

K. Pillar

1-4 | 0 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 0 K | 0 SB | AVG: .316, OBP: .350, Slug: .316

Kept his hit-streak alive, now at 5 games.

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