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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Gausman flirts with no-no as Blue Jays beat Tampa 3-1

Kevin Gausman is a Blue Jay.

The 31-year-old righty threw 8 innings of one-hit, shutout baseball tonight as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated Tampa Bay 3-1. Normally, the Blue Jays are on the losing side of these types of games with the Rays, especially when they’re playing at the Trop, so it was good to see one go their way.

In only his first year as a Blue Jay, Gausman has already had several memorable performances, and this one was one of his best. Gausman opened the game throwing five no-hit innings. Taylor Walls had the first base hit of the game for Tampa to lead off the bottom of the 6th, but it was immediately erased by a beautiful 4-6-3 double play that ended with a nice pick by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base.

One of the most impressive feats of the night for Gausman was finding his rhythm after a long first inning; he threw 27 pitches, which included walking Randy Arozarena and hitting Isaac Paredes with a pitch. Gausman responded by retiring 14 in a row, which was a huge positive considering some of the starts have featured the wheels coming off in the early innings (see home starts against Baltimore and Minnesota). His command was sharp and he was attacking the strike zone while getting them to chase the splitter. Gausman finished with six strikeouts coming by way of the splitter.

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Gausman’s final line: 8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K.

Not to take away from the mastery from Gausman, but it came on a very opportune night, as the offense struggled to get much of any momentum (until the 9th inning, at least). The first inning was quite promising; Vladdy doubled off of Tampa starter Drew Rasmussen, and Bo Bichette drove him in with an RBI single two batters later.

With two on and two out in the 9th, and the Jays dying for some insurance, Danny Jansen dropped a single into center field that scored both Teoscar Hernandez and Raimel Tapia. The hit was nearly caught by recently acquired Jose Siri, but he couldn’t hang on. Big ups to John Schneider for keeping Jansen in the game and not looking to pinch-hit for him. Taylor Walls hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 9th off of Jordan Romano, making those insurance runs mean even more.

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It wasn’t the prettiest, but it’s a win! And you’ll take them any way you can get them when the calendar turns into August. It’s a 12:10 ET start tomorrow, as Blue Jays ace Yusei Kikuchi will take the mound against a not-yet decided starter, as Toronto will look to complete a 2-game sweep of Tampa.


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