The Blue Jays are now in the playoffs and are looking at keeping the pedal on the gas. Today they entered the contest taking 2 of the first 3 games. Mark Buehrle was sent out to try and secure the 3 game sweep. Mark has yet to pick up a win in all of September. He had one bad outing but pitched fairly well in his other two outings. The Rays countered with 3-5 Matt Andriese making only his 8th start of the season.
The Rays started out the game pretty well with a lead off triple by Brandon Guyer. Brandon was looking like he might be stranded at 3rd base until Logan Forsythe hit a two out single to score an early run.
In the bottom of the 1st inning the Blue Jays answered back. Josh Donaldson drew a one out walk. With two outs Edwin Encarnacion hit a single to put runners on first and second. Justin Smoak hit a ground rule double to left field to score Donaldson.
In the top of the 3rd inning with one out Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch. That was followed up but a two run home run to left center by Mikie Mahtook.
The Rays started to threaten in the 4th inning with back to back one out singles by Steven Souza and Tim Beckham. That setup runners on 1st and 3rd with only the one out. Richie Shaffer hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field scoring the runner from 3rd base.
Enny Romero came in to pitch the 4th inning for the Rays and picked up a clean 1-2-3 inning.
Enny came back out to pitch the 5th inning. With two outs Darwin Barney hit a double to left field. Ben Revere was issued a four pitch walk to put two runners on base for Josh Donaldson. Andrew Bellatti came in to pitch for the Rays and was able to induce a ground ball to end the inning.
Brandon Gomes came out to start the 6th inning for the Rays. Edwin Encarnacion drew a one out walk. Justin Smoak blasted a second deck two run home run to right field. The Rays opted to make another pitching change and brought in Xavier Cedeno. Dioneer Navarro quickly slapped a single to left field. Kevin Pillar slapped his own single to right field to put two runners on and only one out. Chris Colabello entered the game as a pinch hitter for Ryan Goins. Chris hit into a double play to end the inning.
Liam Hendriks came in to pitch the 7th inning for the Blue Jays ending the day for Mark Buehrle. Cliff Pennington took over 2nd base defensively after the Chris Colabello pinch hit for Ryan Goins in the 6th. Liam retired the side in order and picked up a couple strike outs.
Jake McGee came in to pitch for the Rays in the 7th inning. Ben Revere hit a one out double to left center field. With two outs Ben Revere was able to advance to 3rd base on a pass ball. Jose Bautista drilled a ball but Evan Longoria made a nice play to end the inning.
Liam Hendriks stayed in the game to pitch the 8th inning. Mikie Mahtook led off with an infield single but was able to advance to 2nd base on a Cliff Pennington throwing error. Mikie quickly took off and stolen 3rd base. Evan Longoria reached on a fielder`s chioce after Josh Donaldson made a nice play tagging Mahtook on 3rd base for the 1st out of the inning. Aaron Sanchez was called on to face Logan Forsythe with a runner on 1st and one out. Logan hit into a double play to end the inning.
Alex Colome came in to pitch the 8th inning for the Rays. With one out Justin Smoak hit a single to center field. Dalton Pompey entered the game as a pinch runner for Smoak. Pompey was able to steal 2nd base with two outs. Kevin Pillar hit a double off the left field wall to easily score Pompey from 2nd base. Cliff Pennington struck out to end the inning but the game was all tied up.
Brett Cecil came in to pitch the top of the 9th inning for the Blue Jays. Matt Hague entered the game to play 1st base defensively after Pompey was used as a pinch runner in the 8th. Brett was able to retire the side in order.
Steve Geltz came in to pitch the 9th inning for the Rays. Steve was able to retire the 1st two batters he faced however, Josh Donaldson smashed a walk off solo home run to deep left field.
- Justin Smoak was able to hit his 17th home run of the season. It was also his 3rd 3 hit game of the season. While his average has hovered around his career mark of .225 he has flashed power in his limited play. With only 284 at bats so far this year he could have put up more than 17 home runs. On that pace he could reach 30 home runs if he was able to put in 501 at bats.
- Mark Buehrle was unable to pick up a win in September after the no decision today. Today was most likely Mark`s last start of the season meaning he will end with 14 wins. While he did fall short of his usual 200 IP he came close this season with 191.1 IP.
- Brett Cecil continues to shine in the bullpen. He pitched yet another solid inning today. The last earned run he gave up was June 21st. Brett has gone almost 30 straight innings in those 3 months to really cement himself once again as a reliable option.
- Josh Donaldson may have cooled off the last 2 weeks only hitting .205 but picked up a HUGE walk off home run. With one swing of the bat Josh may have cemented his MVP award.