Blue Jays rally to 3-1 victory over Tampa Bay
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Toronto (3) Tampa Bay (1) Final
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays took down the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. came up with a timely two-run RBI double in the seventh inning to propel Toronto (4-10) ahead of Tampa Bay. The hit nearly made its way over the home run wall but ultimately fell short.
Clay Buckholz (0-0) fared well in his Blue Jays debut, producing two strikeouts and one earned run across six innings of play. He allowed six hits but limited the damage and did not allow a walk.
Tampa Bay (11-3) benefitted from an Auston Meadows RBI single in the sixth inning to give the Rays a 1-0 lead but proved unable to maintain it. The Rays’ five-game winning streak came to an end as a result.
Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (2-1) pitched a total of six innings and took a no-hitter into the sixth, surrendering one hit and zero earned runs. Snell didn’t record a strikeout until the fourth inning but produced nine by game’s end.
Toronto entered the game having lost six of their last seven games and did not appear poised to improve their record until late in the game.
Snell took 3.1 innings of a perfect game into the fourth until he gave up a walk to Justin Smoak.
Teoscar Hernandez reached first base on a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning, keeping Snell’s no-hit bid alive. The no-hitter persisted until the sixth inning before Snell surrendered a line drive single to Luke Maile.
Meadows hit an RBI single in the sixth inning to score Willy Adames from third base, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. Meadows advanced to second on the play due to a fielding error by Teoscar Hernandez.
Later in the inning, Ji-Man Choi proceeded to reach first base on a fielder’s choice and prompted Meadows to make a scoring attempt from third. Meadows was caught between third base and home before being tagged out by Maile.
Chaz Roe (0-1) entered the game in relief of Snell to begin the seventh—but lasted only 0.2 innings. He immediately surrendered a single to Smoak, a double to Randal Grichuk, and an RBI double to Gurriel Jr.—scoring both Smoak and Grichuk on the play to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Gurriel Jr. has gone 5-for-12 in his last four games after going 2-for-23 through his first eight games of the season.
Thomas Pannone (1-2) pitched in the seventh inning and recorded one strikeout to put himself in line for the victory.
Mike Zunino hit a triple off of Joe Biagini in the eighth inning to get the tying run on base. Biagini bypassed Meadows with an intentional walk before striking out Tommy Pham, which is where his night would end.
Tim Mayza entered the eighth inning for Toronto with runners on first and third, but managed to record the third and final out of the inning. He struck out Daniel Robertson with five pitches.
The Blue Jays added insurance with a single by Hernandez, scoring Maile from third base and progressing Smoak to second.
Ken Giles entered the ninth inning in a save situation. He allowed a single to Brandon Lowe and struck out two to secure a Blue Jays victory.
The attendance was 20,771 and ended with a win for the home team. Toronto will close out the three-game series on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre—it’s the Jr. Jays Opening Day.