Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays - Game Report - September 29, 2019
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Blue Jays (8) - Rays (3)
The Toronto Blue Jays finished off a tumultuous rebuilding season with an 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on the final day of the MLB regular season.
Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez sent the Rogers Centre with a three- run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, giving the Blue Jays a 5-1 lead, they would not relinquish.
Hernandez went 2-for-3 with three RBI, two runs scored and a walk in the season finale, leading the offensive charge and making a case for his spot in the Toronto outfield in the 2020 season.
Veteran Clay Buchholz (2-5) pitched well in what could be his final game as a Blue Jay, throwing five solid innings, giving up just one run on four hits and four walks while striking out six.
Toronto (67-95) finished the fourth-worst season in franchise history having won their final six series’ of the season.
Blake Snell (6-8) started for the playoff-bound Rays, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four. The Cy Young winner pitched just 2.1 innings as he tuned up for the Rays playoff run.
Tampa Bay (96-66) will finish in a wild card spot and travel to Oakland to take on the Athletics in the AL Wild Card game.
Justin Smoak smacked two doubles in what could be his final game in a Blue Jays uniform, driving in three runs in front of the raucous Toronto crowd.
The veteran’s two-bagger to left field gave the Jays a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, setting for the tone for the remainder of the game.
Ji-Man Choi crushed a solo home run in the fourth inning, closing the Rays’ deficit to one before Toronto was able to pull away.
The Blue Jays will end the 2019 season with the fourth-most losses in franchise history, the most since 1980.
Despite the down year, Ross Atkins and the Jays organization can move into 2020 with the hope that young stars, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio can take the franchise into prominence for years to come.