The inability to hit with runners in scoring position proved to be the downfall for the Rays once again. The Blue Jays capitalized on their chances as they took out the Rays 7-5 on Friday night at Tropicana Field. Toronto (49-45) is now 6-2 against the Rays (42–53) this season. With Boston winning, Tampa Bay is back in last place in the A.L. East.
The Rays loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs and only came away with one run on a sacrifice fly by Evan Longoria. James Loney grounded into a double play to end the inning. In the second inning, Rays loaded the bases again— this time with two outs but Ben Zobrist flied out to end the inning.
In stark contrast, the Blue Jays loaded the bases against Chris Archer in the 3rd inning and they scored 3 runs—RBI singles by Munenori Kawasaki and Melky Carera followed by a sac fly by Jose Bautista. Toronto reached Archer again in the 4th on a two-run single by Jose Reyes with two outs to make it a 5-1 Blue Jays lead.
Rays tied the game in the 7th on a 3-run HR by Sean Rodriguez off Blue Jays reliever Dustin McGowan. The rally came with two outs. But the Blue Jays got to Grant Balfour in the 9th for 3 runs. The big blow was a 2-run single by Steve Tolleson to take the lead. Toronto was 6 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Archer was dominant in the first two innings— he threw just 26 pitches and struck out 5 of the first 6 batters. He then came apart after that by allowing 5 runs over 5 innings total. Archer walked 3 and allowed 6 hits. Buehrle settled down after a rocky start and allowed 2 runs over 5 innings.
On Saturday afternoon, the Rays continue their 3-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays from Tropicana Field. 8-7 David Price was scratched with an illness so Jake Odorizzi throws for the Rays against Lakeland native Drew Hutchison, who’s 6-7. Our coverage on 620am WDAE and 95.3FM begins at 3pm with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.