|Alejandro Kirk drove in a run in the 1st game and had an RBI and run scored in the 2nd game as the Blue Jays split today's double header, losing the 1st game 4-2 and winning the nightcap 7-2|
After a late inning win yesterday, it was double header day for the Blue Jays. Mitch White was recalled as the 29th man for the double header. Julian Merryweather started the 1st game after Alek Manoah came down with a stomach bug. Manoah was well enough to start the second game. Danny Jansen was behind the plate for the 1st game and Alejandro Kirk, who served as DH in the 1st game, caught the second game. Teo was in LF the 1st game and RF the 2nd game (Raimel Tapia started the second game in LF and Whit Merrifield started the 1st game in RF. George Springer was in the field for the 1st game and DH'd in the 2nd game (Jackie Bradley Jr. started the 2nd game in CF). Santiago Espinal started the 1st game at 2B and Cavan Biggio started the 2nd game at 2B. Could the Blue Jays sweep the double header and extend the win streak to 3 games? Here is today's game recap(s).
Game Highlights (1st game):
- The Rays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st on a fielder's choice on a ball hit by Randy Arozarena that scored Yandy Diaz
- Julian Merryweather pitching line: 1IP 2H 1R (earned) 0BB 1K 16 pitches (11 for strikes)
- The Rays added a run in the top of the 3rd on a fielder's choice on a ball hit by Arozarena that scored Diaz
- A batter later, Wander Frando scored on a sac fly by David Peralta
- A batter after that, Manuel Margot singled scoring Arozarena
- Jeffrey Springs pitching line: 6IP 3H 0R 2BB 5K 78 pitches (54 for strikes)
- The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 8th on a ground out by Alejandro Kirk that scored Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- Two batters later, Matt Chapman singled scoring Bo Bichette
- Pete Fairbanks got the last 4 outs for his 7th save of the season
- Final score: Rays 4 Blue Jays 2
My Take (1st game):
- The Blue Jays had an unexpected curveball thrown at their pitching plans when in the middle of the night Alek Manoah. Julian Merryweather got the Blue Jays through the 1st inning, giving up a run on 2 hits.
- Mitch White gave the Blue Jays a crucial seven innings. Unfortunately, the Rays scored three times in the 3rd inning, but the bigger impact was the length, especially with the uncertainty of how far, if at all, Manoah could go (literally and figuratively). David pitched a clean final two innings to leave the bullpen in pretty good shape for game 2.
- Offensively, the Blue Jays weren't able to break the shutout until the 8th inning when they cut the Rays lead in half with a pair of runs. They got a pair of runners on1st and 2nd with 1 out but Vlad struck out swinging and Bo grounded out to 1st to end the threat and the 1st game
- The Blue Jays were 1-8 with runners in scoring position
- Up next, the 2nd game of the double header. Manoah starts against Rays righty Yonny Chirinos
Game Highlights (2nd game):
- The Rays opened the scoring in the scoring in the top of the 3rd as Ji-Man Choi hammered a solo bomb to the second deck in right
- Yonny Chirinos pitching line: 4IP 3H 0R 0BB 2K 47 pitches (32 for strikes)
- The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom of the 6th on a ground out by Alejandro Kirk that scored Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- The Rays retook the lead in the top of the 7th as Jonathan Aranda whacked his first career HR to the opposite field in left and into the Blue Jays bullpen
- The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Whit Merrifield doubled scoring Santiago Espinal and Bradley Zimmer
- A batter later, George Springer whacked a 2-run jack to right and into the Blue Jays bullpen; also scoring Merryweather.
- Alek Manoah pitching line: 6.2IP 5H 2R (both earned) 2BB 5K 99 pitches (66 for strikes)
- The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Teoscar Hernandez doubled home Kirk
- Two batters later, Hernandez scored on a sac fly by Matt Chapman
- Final score: Blue Jays 7 Rays 2
My Take (2nd game):
- Alek Manoah gutted his way through 6.2 innings, giving up a pair of runs on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. His start was up in the air after he phoned Blue Jays head trainer Jose Ministral in the middle of the night last night to inform him that he had the stomach flu. The Blue Jays were initially going to start Manoah in the 1st game, but swapped the plan in the hopes Manoah would recover sufficiently during the day. Thankfully, Manoah recovered and was solid in 6.2 innings. He should be starting the first game of the wild card series.
- The bullpen held the Rays to a pair of hits and a walk over the last 2.1 innings. Anthony Bass was credited with the win for getting the final out in the 7th inning.
- The Blue Jays broke the game open in the 8th inning with 4 runs on a 2-run double by Teo and a 2-run Jack by George Springer.
- Much like the first game, the bats were silent through the first half of the game
- The Blue Jays were 2-10 with runners in scoring position
- In terms of the WC race, the Orioles won and the Mariners were losing in the 4th inning. At the time of publication of this recap, the Blue Jays were tied for the first WC spot with the Mariners, who hold the tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series. If the Mariners win tonight, they will be solely in the 1st WC spot by a half game over the Blue Jays and a full game over the Rays. The Orioles are 5 games back of the Rays for the final WC spot.
- Up next, the Blue Jays go for 2 straight wins over the Rays and their 24th series win of the season. Ross Stripling starts against Rays righty Drew Rasmussen