Rays 2-1 Extra Innings Win Secures Series In Toronto
Rays Score In Tenth To Defeat Jays 2-1
The Tampa Bay Rays once again received an outstanding start by a member of their rotation but the bats were held in check by the Toronto pitching staff. The Rays finally broke through in the top of the 10th inning to score the go-ahead and eventual winning run on a single by Evan Longoria to lift the Rays to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Chris Archer posted a quality start allowing just one run (earned) over seven strong innings allowing six hits while striking out six and walking one.
He was given a one run lead in the first inning on a ground ball by Evan Longoria that appeared to be a inning ending double play but Longoria hustled down the line and just beat the relay throw as Ben Zobrist came across home plate.
The game remained 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the Jays put runners on the corners with one out and Juan Francisco delivered a sacrifice fly to score Dionner Navarro from third to tie the game.
Neither team scored over the final two frames and for the second day in a row and fifth time in the Rays last ten road games the game entered extra innings.
Ben Zobrist led off the inning and moved to third when Matt Joyce hit a routine fly ball to right that Nolan Reimold allowed to glance off his glove and into the stands for a ground rule double. Reimold entered the game in the top of the seventh after Jose Bautista was ejected arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Bill Welke.
With runners at 2nd and 3rd and nobody out Evan Longoria sent a ground ball between third baseman Juan Francisco and shortstop Jose Reyes and into left field. Zobrist easily came in to score on the play but Melky Cabrera's throw to catcher Dionner Navarro was in time to nab Forsythe attempting to score.
Joe Maddon challenged the call as Navarro did block home plate without the ball and did not present a lane for the base runner but after review to the surprise of many the call was upheld.
It seems as through most of the season posting victories in the win column has been tedious. Nothing is ever easy - especially Sunday afternoon's victory.
With Brad Boxberger in to protect the 2-1 lead the inning got off to an ominous start. Juan Francisco sent a slow chopper that got by Boxerger and was fielded by Logan Forsythe who made an offbalance errant throw that glanced off the glove of James Loney allowing the tying run to advance to second with nobody out.
Munenori Kawasaki laid down a sacrifice bunt that he beat out for an infield single and the Jays had runners on the corners and nobody out.
Evan Longoria, who already had both the RBI for the Rays on the day, showed off his defensive prowess ranging far to his right to snare aJose Reyes popup for the first out of the inning.
Boxberger then got Melky Cabrera to pop out to Logan Forsythe to bring Nolan Reimold up to the plate with a chance at redemption for his misplay in the top of the frame. Boxberger didn't waste time and struck him out on five pitches to end the game to make a winner out of Jake McGee (4-1, 1.33 ERA) and picking up his second save of the year. Sergio Santos (0-3, 7.40 ERA) took the loss for the Jays.
Joe Maddon often says you can criticize the results but not the effort - a theme he reiterated after Sunday's victory. "After the loss [Saturday], our guys came back once again and played a balanced game after a tough loss. Beautiful people," Maddon said. "If you are managing this team, you would be a fool to not support this group of guys based on how they go about their business every day."