Blue Jays let early lead slip to the Rays

Sep 2, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) looks on in the dugout during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 2, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) looks on in the dugout during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Blue Jays stormed out of the gate and scored a pair of runs in the first inning.  Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb appeared to be on the ropes after a pair of doubles.  Josh Donaldson hit a ball to deep centre that was ruled to be a Tropicana double.  The ball hit the catwalk in the outfield and then bounced over the fence.  After the play went to review the ruling on the field stood.  The double got things going for the Jays.  Edwin Encarnacion promptly drove in Donaldson on a scorched ball into the left-centre field gap.  The double was Encarnacion’s 30th of the season.

After a Michael Saunders ground out which moved Encarnacion to 3rd, Russell Martin had a chance to drive in a run.  Martin took a 1-1 pitch up the middle that could not be fielded by the Rays infield.  Encarnacion scored the 2nd run of the inning for the Jays.

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Marcus Stroman got the start for the Jays and looked solid through most of it.  Stroman pitched 6.0 innings and was let down by his defence during a few key parts of the game.  Stroman also allowed a late home run to Logan Morrison.  The two-run homer put the Rays on top 4-2 to end the 6th inning.  Stroman allowed three earned runs on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out three.

The bullpen struggled during this one.  Francisco Liriano made his ‘pen debut and struggled.  The bullpen move for Liriano is intended to be temporary but he had issues as he failed to record an out.  Liriano allowed a pair of hits which included a home run to Luke Maile.  Ryan Tepera came on to relieve him but also allowed a home run.  The two-run shot Brad Miller put the Rays up 8-2 at the time.

The Jays tried to get something going in the 8th inning but only scored one run with the bases loaded.  They left runners on 1st and 2nd to end the inning.  This was the story of the offence for the game as they left four runners in scoring position after the two-run first inning.  The Jays will look to bounce back in game two of the series.

“B”. Stroman allowed three earned runs on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out three.. . Marcus Stroman. STARTING PITCHING

. RELIEF PITCHING . “C-”. The bullpen struggled and allowed four runs in just two innings of work.  Barnes threw a scoreless 8th inning. .

OFFENCE . “C”. Donaldson collected a pair of hits and scored twice.  Martin, Encarnacion, and <a href=. . Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin