Game Recap: Marco Estrada does his job and Blue Jays squeak out a win


The Toronto Blue Jays have already won a series on the road against Tampa Bay in 2015, but that road series win continues to be the great white whale for this year’s edition of the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays almost let a brilliant pitching performance from Marco Estrada go for naught, but a late home run from Chris Colabello secured the 1-0 win for Toronto.

Final. 0. 21. 1. 39

For the second straight outing, Marco Estrada’s change-up was befuddling hitters and he again took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. This time around, Estrada was perfect before allowing a one-out single to Logan Forsythe to break up the perfecto. Estrada was finished after 8.2 innings, allowing just two hits, striking out 10, and walking none.

Estrada’s great game was punctuated by perhaps the play of the year from Josh Donaldson, who rang up this gem while going into the stands to preserve the no-no.

While Estrada was outstanding, Rays’ starter Nathan Karns also held the Blue Jays at bay. Karns allowed just three hits and three walks over six innings, while striking out five Jays hitters. He was followed by Kevin Jepsen, Jake McGee, Brad Boxberger, and Steve Geltz who limited Toronto to just one hit and a walk over the next four innings of work.

The game got exciting in the bottom of the tenth. With Bo Schultz on the mound and the pair of Forsythe and Evan Longoria on first and second, Asdrubal Carbera lined hard back to the pitcher and Schultz made a great play on the ball. However, he failed to convert the double play at first base and threw the ball down the line. Longoria forgot how many outs there were before realizing his mistake and returning to second to tag up and move on to third. Had he known the situation immediately, he would have easily scored the winning run on the play.

Brett Cecil entered the game for the 11th and promptly walked the lead-off hitter. After a strike-out of Rene Rivera, a bloop single to Kevin Keirmaier put men on first and second. Cecil then uncorked a wild pitch to move both runners into scoring position, but struck-out Joey Butler and intentionally walked Longoria to load the bases before getting DeJesus to ground out to end the threat.

The Blue Jays finally decided enough was enough in the top of the 12th, as Chris Colabello launched his sixth home run of the year to lead off the inning and give the Blue Jays the 1-0 lead. Steve Delabar came in to close out the bottom of the 12th to capture the save and give the Blue Jays the series win.

Game Notes:

  • Estrada was outstanding yet again, pitching to a 90 game score. Over his last two outings, Estrada has allowed just three hits and one run over this last 15.2 innings of work. For a guy that doesn’t throw that hard, he’s struck out 16 in the process.
  • Opposite Estrada, Nate Karns was dealing zeroes as well for the first five innings. It wasn’t until the top of the sixth when Kevin Pillar broke up the no-hitter with one out.
  • Blue Jays offense was absolutely dreadful. Through the first 11 innings, Toronto mustered just four hits and four walks, but went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, including a first and third, no-out situation in the sixth where they came up empty.
  • As a team, Toronto tallied 19 runners left on base.

A+.  Estrada was outstanding and really shortened the game for the bullpen.  The 8.2 innings and the 10 strike-outs were both career-highs. After taking a no-no into the eighth against Baltimore, he was even better against Tampa, not issuing a single free pass in the game.. Game Ball. <b>Marco Estrada</b>. STARTING PITCHING

<b>Chris Colabello</b>. HITTING . D. A 12th inning dinger from Colabello was the only run scored on the day for either team, as both offenses struggled to put together anything at the plate.. Game Ball

 Roberto Osuna didn’t receive a save opportunity, but his leverage was still high, coming into the game in the bottom of the ninth with <strong><a href=. Game Ball. . BULLPEN . A

MVJ:  Marco Estrada

Next: Did Josh Donaldson make the best catch in Blue Jays history?

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