The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time in a row with a Saturday afternoon win, 10-8 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
According to CBC, Toronto Blue Jays’ David Price and Tampa Bay Rays’ Chris Archer squared off in a heated duel with 14 runs and 16 hits in the first four innings. Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista and Russell Martin hit home runs that gave the Toronto franchise a 5-0 lead after the first, in a 33-pitch inning. Martin reached a career high with his 22nd homer, and it was the first time he hit one off a 3-0 count.
The Rays interrupted the Blue Jays’ momentum with four runs in the third inning. Starting pitcher Price got himself into a rare jam with bases loaded and nobody out, but the Jays scored seven against Rays’ Chris Archer after three innings.
A death blow was delivered by outfielder Kevin Pillar with another RBI double that knocked Rays’ Archer from the game.
Blue Jays’ relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins took over the mound from Price on the sixth with Blue Jays at 9 and the Rays at 5.
Bautista scored a solo run in the eighth, which CBC described as his 39th of the season and third in two days.
Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera got the ball to start the ninth, but did not retire a batter. Then followed Blue Jays relievers Brett Cecil and Roberto Osuna to clean up.
The Blue Jays’ 89th win gives them their highest total since 1993, and takes them closer to post-season. They clinched a playoff spot after 22 years thanks to the previous night’s 5-3 win over Tampa Bay, and Minnesota’s loss to Detroit.
In the Friday game, Josh Donaldson, Kevin Pillar, and Jose Bautista each slugged home runs while only four hits got past R.A. Dickey in seven innings. A second wild-card berth for the Jays based on the magic number 1 became a real possibility with the Los Angeles Angels trouncing the Seattle Mariners on the West Coast.
According to the Toronto Star, Dickey rode on the three key homers to earn the 100th win of his career as the Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 at the Friday matchup.
The Toronto Blue Jays distinguished itself with back-to-back World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. They became the first team outside of the United States to clinch the World Series. However, since 1993, the Toronto Blue Jays were stuck with having the longest playoff drought in Major League Baseball.
[Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]