The game looked like it was in hand. The Tampa Bay Rays held a 9-2 lead in the 6th inning at Rogers Centre in Toronto Saturday against the division rival Blue Jays. A game they should have easily won against a bad team. The Rays were even leading 9-3 in the 8th.
Then the Jays woke up against the Rays' bullpen.
A home run barrage in the last two innings, ending with a solo blast by Brandon Drury (his second of the game) with two out in the ninth, tied the game at 9, and the Rays, who were retired 21 straight from the sixth inning on, went on to lose the game 10-9 on a solo blast by Jays' centerfielder Teoscar Hernandez off Emilio Pagan leading off the bottom of the 12th inning.
Hernandez's second homer of the game finished off the inevitable, and capped the Rays' worst loss of the season.
The Jays had cut that 9-3 deficit to 9-5 in the 8th on back-to-back home runs by Drury and Hernandez off Hunter Wood, who relieved the starting tandem of Andrew Kittredge and Jalen Beeks, who both pitched well in keeping the Blue Jays' bats at bay.
But the Jays weren't done. In the ninth, Rays' manager Kevin Cash opted for Oliver Drake out of the bullpen to get the final three outs, and he couldn't even get one.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. led off the inning with a double and Drake then walked Randal Grichuk. Up came Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who then blasted a three-run homer to left center, cutting the Rays' lead to 9-8.
Cash then called for Adam Kolarek to face only one batter, Cavan Biggio, who struck out. Then Cash brought in Colin Poche to finish the game, and he got Danny Jansen to strike out swinging for the second out. But his first pitch to Drury was sent over the wall in right center to tie the game at 9.
The Blue Jays took the early lead in the bottom of the first off Kittredge on a double by Grichuk, scoring Gurriel, who had singled.
But the Rays came back in the second with a six spot, on two three-run homers--Willy Adames' 11th, and the other by the red-hot Travis d'Arnaud, who hit his 12th off Jays' starter Ryan Borucki.
The Jays got a run back in the bottom of the second on a homer by Biggio, but the Rays added two more in the top of the third on an RBI single by Matt Duffy and an RBI groundout by Tommy Pham.
The Rays' last run, and their last threat, came in the sixth, as Guillermo Heredia lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field, scoring d'Arnaud, who had walked and advanced to third on a Joey Wendle squib double down the third-base line.
The Rays were held hitless after that. And may have lost more than a game.
*Mike Zunino went 0-for-5, dropping his average to .168. He also left five runners on base.
*Including his two homers, Drury went 4-for-6, adding an RBI single for the Jays' third run in the sixth.
*Daniel Hudson earned his sixth win for the Blue Jays, pitching a scoreless 12th.
*In the rubber game, set for Sunday at 1:07 p.m., Yonny Chirinos (8-5, 3.29 ERA) faces Aaron Sanchez (3-14, 6.06 ERA).
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images