The Tampa Bay Rays (85-67) saw their five game winning streak snapped with a stunning ninth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays (70-83) scored seven times in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 9-8 win over the Rays on Thursday night.
Toronto struck first in this game, as Rowdy Tellez hit a two run home run off of Rays opener Ryne Stanek in the second inning that would send the Rays to the bullpen. As the Rays have done of late, though, they began to rally almost immediately. The Rays got two runs in the fourth inning to tie the game and took the lead with a Willy Adames single in the sixth. The Rays then got six runs in the seventh inning, keyed by a three-run bases-clearing single from CJ Cron to lift the Rays to an 8-2 lead.
That lead felt secure for a team riding a five game winning streak and chasing 90 wins, but on this night the wheels fell off for the Rays in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jaime Schultz started the ninth inning for the Rays, and after Rowdy Tellez doubled to pull within 8-3, Danny Jansen came up with a three-run home run that pulled the Blue Jays within eight to six. The Rays then turned to Sergio Romo attempting to get the save, and after a strikeout that brought the Blue Jays down to their final out, Kendrys Morales came up with a flair single that fell in the outfield between three Rays defenders. Moments later Lourdes Gurriel, Jr, hit a two-run home run to tie the game 8-8. The very next pitch of the game saw Justin Smoak homer to right field and the stunning comeback was finished for the Blue Jays.
Sergio Romo (3-4, 3.71) got pegged with the loss after blowing the save, while Blue Jays reliever David Paulino (1-0, 2.45) got his first win of the season. Sam Gaviglio got the start for the Blue Jays, and went five innings while allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits while striking out two and walking one.
The Rays look to bounce back from this loss when they meet the Blue Jays in the second game of the four game series on Friday night. First pitch from the Rogers Center in Ontario is scheduled for 7:07 Friday night - pregame coverage begins with Steve Carney and the Inside Pitch at 6 on 620 WDAE & 95.3 FM.