Blue Jays fall short against Rangers in weekend finale

May 7, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Joe Biagini (31) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 7, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Joe Biagini (31) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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It was a roof-open, sunglass wearing, cowboy hat giveaway, t-shirt sporting kinda day.  Having already won games on Friday and Saturday, the Jays hoped to continue the pattern in Sunday’s game while completing the sweep against the Texas Rangers.  Coming into today’s game, the Jays had a five game winning streak on the line with hopes of extending it to a season high of six. 

The Jays, playing at home in the Rogers Centre, started the scoring in the bottom of the 1st with a lead off double from center fielder, Kevin Pillar, whom snapped a 0 for 12 hitless streak. Third baseman, Josh Donaldson, playing in his second game since returning from the DL, grounded out to Rangers foe, Rougned Odor, which advanced Pillar to third base.  Right fielder Jose Bautista then hit a long fly ball to left field that allowed him to tag and run home, giving the Jays a 1-0 lead.

Blue Jays pitcher Joe Biagini (1-2 in 18 games, 3.75 ERA) got the call to start today’s game and proved to be effective and powerful.  He ran into a couple early hiccups when the Rangers scored in back to back innings including giving up a home run to Joey Gallo in the 4th inning, which then gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead.  Biagini left the game after pitching six strong innings, allowing two earned runs, one walk, striking out seven and throwing a career high 95 pitches.

Unfortunately, the Jays found themselves in more hot water in the 7th when relief pitcher, Dominic Leone, gave up a wild pitch, which enabled another run to score, giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead.  These three runs proved to be all the offense the Rangers needed on the afternoon.

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After the home run and hit fest from Friday night’s game, the Jays offense appeared to be non-existent.  They were able to get hits and base runners in several innings but failed to capitalize on these opportunities and score runs.  Even with a crowd of 46,000+ cheering for the Jays, winning wasn’t in the cards today and the Jays fell back to four games under .500.

The Cincinnati Reds come to Toronto on Monday for a three game series where Lisalverto Bonilla (0-2 in 23.1 innings, 6.17 ERA) is set to go up against Marcus Stroman (5-2 in 62.2 innings, 3.30 ERA).

The Reds are 24-25 and are 4th in their division, NL Central, while the Jays are 23-27 with this afternoon’s loss and sit in last place in the AL East.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM EST.

Next: Blue Jays AL East Recap: Jays soar out of May