|Alek Manoah threw 7 shutout innings in a 3-1 win over the Rays|
After dropping their 2nd straight game against the Rays and 3rd straight overall thanks to the bullpen blowing the game, the Blue Jays were looking to get back on track and solidify their playoff odds. Alek Manoah got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. George Springer got the half day off as DH with Jackie Bradley Jr. was in CF. The rest of the lineup was the same as yesterday. Could the Blue Jays snap the 3-game skid? Here is tonight's game recap.
- The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 7th as Whit Merrifield bashed a 3-run blast to left-center; also scoring Teoscar Hernandez and Bradley Zimmer
- Drew Rasmussen pitching line: 6.1IP 3H 1R (earned) 2BB 5K 88 pitches (60 for strikes)
- Alek Manoah pitching line: 7IP 4H 0R 2BB 8K 113 pitches (75 for strikes)
- The Rays got one back in the bottom of the 8th as Harold Ramirez singled scoring Jose Siri
- Jordan Romano got the final 4 outs for his 35th save of the season
- Final score: Blue Jays 3 Rays 1
- Alek Manoah outduelled Rays starter Drew Rasmussen, throwing 7 shutout inning, scattering 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 8. Manoah threw a season-high 113 pitches and was one pitch short of matching his career high in pitches thrown in a single game. Considering that the Blue Jays could very well be playing the Rays in a WC series right here at the Trop, Manoah sure made his case to start such a series. Regardless of who the Blue Jays face and where, Manoah should be starting the first game because you really don't want to lose the first game of a best of three, especially on the road.
- The bullpen gave up a run on three hits while walking none and striking out four over the final two innings. Both Tim Mayza and Jordan Romano should be on the playoff roster. Romano is a lock since he's the undisputed closer. Mayza is a bit more uncertain, but he is by far the best lefty reliever the Blue Jays have
- Offensively, Whit Merrifield did the damage with a 3-run blast in the 7th. The Ex-Royals slugger has proven to be a solid addition, especially with his ability to play multiple positions.
- In terms of the WC race, the Mariners won and the Orioles lost. The Orioles loss moved the magic number to 6 to secure a playoff spot, meaning it's likely part or all of the final series vs. the Orioles will be meaningless for the Blue Jays, but they could matter to the Orioles, who are four games back of the Mariners for the final WC spot. The Blue Jays are in the 1st WC spot, a game up on the Rays and 1.5 games up on the Mariners,
- Up next, the Blue Jays try to earn the series split against the Rays and end the road trip on a winning note as they enter the final full week of regular season play. Ross Stripling starts against Rays lefty Shane McClanahan.