TORONTO --The Toronto Blue Jays sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning, collecting six hits including a three-run home run, to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-3 on Wednesday night, ending Tampa Bay’s four game-winning streak. The Blue Jays got a quality start from right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who got his first win in three months.
Sanchez making just his third start since a two month stint on the DL, started the night throwing 11 pitches & got Tampa Bay in order in the top of the first. Meanwhile Rays starter Tyler Glasnow, who worked a career-high seven innings in his last start, had a tough time from his first wind-up. Glasnow allowed a walk then three straight singles to the first four batters, with first baseman Justin Smoak & designated hitter Kendrys Morales all recording run-scoring singles to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead before the first out of the inning. And after Glasnow got the first out, shortstop Lourdes Gurriel added another run-scoring single.
The big blow in the bottom of the first came after Gurriel’s hit, when third baseman Aledmys Diaz crushed a Glasnow pitch over the wall in leftfield, for a three-run home run, making the deficit six runs. And after Glasnow walked a batter but got a second out, Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled his starter & brought in reliever Andrew Kittredge. Kittredge allowed another run scoring single, this one to second baseman Devon Travis, his second single of the inning, to make the game 7-0.
Trailing by seven runs, Tampa Bay got to Sanchez in the top of the second when with one out centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier hit his first of two solo home runs & right fielder Mallex Smith walked with the bases loaded. But third baseman Matt Duffy struck out to end the inning, keeping the deficit at five.
The Blue Jays lead went back to six in the bottom of the fifth when leftfielder Billy McKinney hit a solo home run off lefty reliever Vidal Nuno, the Rays third pitcher of the night. But Kiermaier, who entered the game three for eleven in his career against Sanchez, hit another drive over the wall, giving him his third career multi-home run game.
The Blue Jays tacked on single runs in both the seventh & eighth inning to end the scoring.
After a day off on Thursday, the Rays begin a 9 game homestand when they host the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night. Lefty Blake Snell (17-5 2.02), the American League Pitcher Of The Month in August, gets the start for the Rays while the Orioles will start righty Dylan Bundy (7-13 5.36). Coverage begins on 620 WDAE with Steve Carney & The Inside Pitch at 6pm & first pitch scheduled for 7:10pm.