The Toronto Blue Jays tried to split the series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon. The bats came alive in the first inning, but they lost 7-2, putting them on a three-game losing streak.
The best thing about this road trip is that it’s over. It’s still early, but Toronto Blue Jays are now on a three-game losing streak, as they now have a 1-5 record so far this season.
The Blue Jays got a mediocre start from Marco Estrada on Sunday afternoon. Estrada pitched five innings, allowing seven hits on five earned runs, two walks and five strikeouts. His counterpart from the Tampa Bay Rays, Jake Odorizzi pitched six innings, allowing two hits on two earned runs, one walk, and four strikeouts.
Unfortunately, the team couldn’t get any hits (only one more hit came in the top of the ninth from Bautista) or runs after the first inning.
Josh Donaldson started off the scoring by making it rain with his second home run of the season on a 1-1 count. After Jose Bautista walked, Kendrys Morales doubled to the right-centre field wall. Troy Tulowitzki would come to the plate for a RBI groundout to score Bautista and a 2-0 Blue Jays lead.
There was some tension in the game between the two A.L. East rivals in the bottom of the second. After a double play from Justin Smoak, the benches cleared after Steve Souza clipped Tulowitzki’s right foot during a slide, which was off the bag, and then his leg came up toward his left foot, which was on it.
The altercation gave momentum for the Rays in the bottom of the third. Corey Dickerson hit his second home run of the season on a 1-2 count. Kevin Kiermaier would hit a triple and Brad Miller walked, leading to a 3 run homer from Souza. The Blue Jays were down 4-2.
Rays’ catcher Jesus Sucre would launch a solo home run to left field on a 0-2 count to make it 5-2 Rays in the bottom of the fourth. Estrada only gave up three home runs in a game only once last year.
Things wouldn’t get any better for the Blue Jays. In the top of the sixth, Donaldson grounded out to first. Once he touched the bag, he began limping towards the dugout and that was the end of his day. Ryan Goins would take over at third base.
The Blue Jays bullpen continued to carry some of the weight in this game. Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup would pitch strong innings in the sixth and seventh innings. Casey Lawrence, who made his first big league appearance Saturday night, came into the game in the bottom of the eighth.
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It wasn’t exactly the inning he was looking for. Rays’ catcher Sucre grounded a two-run hit to left field as the Blue Jays got Mallex Smith caught in a rundown and blew it. The Blue Jays were now trailing 7-2.
Odorizzi got the win (1-1) and Estrada got the loss (0-1). Justin Smoak had his four-game hitting streak snapped, and Russell Martin has yet to have a hit on the young season.
The Blue Jays will have a much-needed day off before they open up their first homestand of the season.
J.A. Happ (0-1) will be on the mound for the Blue Jays when they face Wily Peralta (1-0) and the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre. The first pitch will get underway at 7:07 PM EST.