Well, it wasn't meant for the Tampa Bay Rays to continue their winning ways, as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Rays 12-4, ending Tampa Bay's six-game winning steak.
The Rays' first-ever visit to Buffalo's Sahlen Field, Toronto's 2020 home, was spoiled by six Blue Jay home runs, highlighted by Bo Bichette's go-ahead three-run blast in the bottom of the sixth inning off former Toronto pitcher Aaron Loup. Teoscar Hernandez followed an out later with a solo blast off Loup, then launched a three-run dagger off Jose Alvarado in the 8th, providing Toronto's last runs.
It got so bad for the Rays that Kevin Cash called on Mike Brosseau to finish out the 8th inning in relief of Jose Alvarado, who gave up four runs in two-thirds of an inning. Brosseau struck out Randal Grichuk, who had homered leading off the deciding sixth inning to tie the game at 4.
Tampa Bay jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, sparked by a first inning two-run shot by Brandon Lowe, who continued his hot hitting with his sixth of the season. Lowe also drove in the Rays' third run in the second with a two-out single that drove home Austin Meadows, who had walked.
Toronto got back into the game in the bottom of the second on a two-run homer by Rowdy Tellez, his third of the season, off Rays' starter Trevor Richards.
Richards, subbing for the injured Charlie Morton, was lifted for rookie side-armer Ryan Thompson after four and a third innings. Thompson got the final two outs in the fifth, but it all came unraveled for Tampa Bay in the sixth.
After having taken a 4-3 lead in the sixth on a Hunter Renfroe sacrifice fly, Thompson gave up Grichuk's tying home run, and immediately surrendered a single to Tellez. After a Danny Jansen popout, Thompson was lifted for Loup, who immediately hit Biggio with a pitch, and then surrendered Bichette's go-ahead bomb. Thompson ended up taking the loss.
Rays Manager Kevin Cash summoned Jose Alvarado in a low-leverage situation to start the eighth inning, down 8-4, but Alvarado could only get two outs in the inning, allowing four runs on a bases-loaded wild pitch, then surrendering Hernandez's second homer of the night.
Former Ray Wilmer Font ended up earning the win, inducing a double-play grounder from Jose Martinez, pinch-hitting for Michael Perez, to kill a Rays' threat after they took the 4-3 lead.
Saturday, the Rays will start Ryan Yarbrough to try and tame the Blue Jay bats. He'll face Toronto's Chase Anderson. First pitch is scheduled for 6:37 p.m. in Buffalo, and 95.3 WDAE will begin its coverage at 5:30 as Steve Carney hosts the Inside Pitch.
Photos Courtesy: Getty Images