Game Recap: Jays top Rays – Welcome to boom town
By Craig Borden
The game started with a hard worked first inning for each team when Steven Souza Jr. opened up the games offense with one out in the bottom of the second. Souza cracked a high-outside knuckle ball just over the right field fence for a solo home run. Dickey would work out of the inning only allowing the homer in the 2nd. In the top of the 3rd the Jays came back with Josh Thole providing support for his pitcher. Thole hit a solo homer in his first at bat this season to tie the game back up at 1.
The Jays would keep moving the line in the 4th as Jose Bautista flared a broken bat single into center field which was followed by a hard hit double by Edwin Encarnacion. Edwin’s doubled down the left field line and moved Bautista to third. This set the stage for Troy Tulowitzki as he flied out to deep center for a sac fly to score Bautista. The Tulo sac fly would just start the bleeding for the Rays in the 4th inning. With Edwin still on and 2 out Michael Saunders would destroy a ball off of Drew Smyly to dead center. The ball looked nearly caught by Kevin Kiermaier but just was out of his reach. The hard line drive barely made if over the outfield wall but was good for a 2 run homer.
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Josh Donaldson brought some rain as he hit his first homer of the season. A solo shot off of Smyly on a low-and-inside pitch was planted into the left field seats to put the Jays up 5-1. On to the bottom of the 5th Dickey would finally run into a challenge after a pair of singles the Rays managed to score a run on a wild pitch. With the score now 5-2 Dickey had to work out of more trouble. After walking the next batter there were then runners on first and second with no one out. Dickey would dig down and work his way out of the issues.
Jesse Chavez made his season debut in the 6th and promptly walked the first batter he faced on 4 pitches. Prior to Chavez entering the game Dickey allowed a single on the last hitter he faced. Kiermaier then hit an RBI single tto make the game 5-3 and kept runners on second and first with only 1 out. Chavez would settle in with his fastball and strike out the next 2 batters to end the Rays rally.
Kevin Pillar made another Superman-like catch in centre as he got full extension and then ran into the wall hard. It was amazing that he got up and felt okay after hitting the wall square with his forehead. Clearly the wall is still not the kryptonite for Pillar. The bullpen shut out the Rays for the rest of the game and Roberto Osuna collected his second save.
The Jays score at least 5 runs in a game for the second night in row. Oddly enough, both teams hit horribly with runners in scoring position throughout the game. Each team collected only 1 hit each with runners in scoring position in a total of 23 opportunities. Saunders became the 11th Canadian player to hit a homer in a Blue Jays uniform. Dickey records the win while Roberto Osuna picks up the save for the second straight night.
Most Valuable Blue Jay (MVJ) – Michael Saunders – 2-4 with a double and a homer and 2 RBIs