Blue Jays break out of losing streak with historic 20-1 win over the Rays at the Trop

Photo credit:Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Stack
10 months ago
There are many different ways to break out of a slump. You could beat up on an inferior team, scratch and claw for a tough road win against a division leader, or you could simply obliterate the Rays 20-1 on their home turf. That’s right, the MLB-leading Tampa Bay Rays.
Toronto chose the third option behind a quality start from Jose Berrios and a welcome offensive outburst, something that fans have been yearning for over the past couple of weeks. All nine starting batters recorded a hit and six of them had multi-hit games. This is what Toronto’s offence is capable of.
It’s the first time they’ve scored 10+ runs at Tropicana Field since August 31, 2010, when they won 13-5 (Ricky Romero was the winning pitcher of record and Jose Bautista hit home run #43 during this game). Furthermore, it’s the most runs scored at Tropicana Field since June 25, 2002, a 20-11 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Interestingly enough, that game was a matter of weeks after Buck Martinez was fired as manager of the Blue Jays, and Pete Walker was the winning pitcher in that game.

Blue Jays Nation’s Player of the Game: George Springer

As one of the older guys on the roster and the lineup’s leadoff hitter, Springer sets the tone for this club. The kind of night he had tonight was very symbolic of the team’s performance, and it was much needed from a guy who didn’t get off to the greatest start this season. Springer was 4-for-5 with a solo home run and two RBIs, and he fell just a double shy of the cycle. His home run was absolutely crushed, and it came moments after nearly being hit on a pitch up and in. In Springer’s last nine games, he is batting .378 (14-for-37) with two homers and six RBIs.
He also made a nice running catch to end the 7th inning, another highlight on top of a couple of web gems he made last night.

Things worth mentioning

Despite being given a ton of run support, it was still a dominant night from Jose Berrios. Berrios went seven innings strong, allowing five hits, one run, two walks, and five strikeouts. Over his last four starts, Berrios is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA, coming only one out shy in his Atlanta start of recording four consecutive quality starts. It wasn’t all too pretty from the start; Berrios retired the first two batters of the game before loading the bases with two outs. He was able to get out of the inning without any harm, but he had already thrown 25 pitches. To his credit, though, Berrios settled in and collected outs with ease.
Matt Chapman made a sensational play at third base tonight to rob Harold Ramirez of a base hit in the 6th inning. Chapman’s glove at third is an absolute luxury to have, and his hot start at the plate might’ve overshadowed his defense some. Plays that like may remind some people.
Now for the offence, which was incredibly fun to watch. For the game, Toronto had 27 hits (just two hits shy of a franchise record) and was able to bat around in an inning twice. More importantly, the Jays were 9-for-14 with RISP versus only seven runners left on base. I mentioned Springer earlier, but among other contributions were Bo Bichette (3-for-5, 2 R), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3-for-6, Grand Slam, 6 RBIs), Danny Jansen (3-for-6, 2 2B), and Whit Merrifield (3-for-6).
The Jays got to Tampa starter Taj Bradley early, hitting three straight singles to start the game, including Guerrero cashing in Springer on an RBI single. Bradley ended up giving up 4 runs through 4 innings, and things seemed to completely fall apart for the Rays as soon as he left the game.
Toronto scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth. They scored in a few different ways, but they also benefitted from several misplays by the Rays. It was 10-1 until the game reached the 8th inning, and the Rays threw up the white flag and called upon Luke Raley, their starting first baseman, to pitch. Raley only allowed one run in the 8th, an inning that included a swinging strikeout from Guerrero Jr.
The 9th inning was much different, as the Blue Jays scored another nine runs. The biggest of these was a crushed grand slam from Vladdy which proved to be a revenge at-bat against Raley. Raley’s eephus pitch came across at 52 mph, and left Guerrero’s bat at 111.5 mph. Chapman, Daulton Varsho, and Jansen also homered in the inning, as the Blue Jays turned this one into a laugher.
This kind of night offensively might loosen things up for the Jays, and it may have also helped that they got to enjoy a game like this as well. Baseball lately has not been fun for the Blue Jays, and this kind of game may reverse the course for them. Also, while winning should be expected, it might be another 21 years before the Blue Jays scored 20 runs against the Rays at Tropicana Field again. This night was one of one.
Springer said after the game that they need to flush this one away and get ready for tomorrow, and that’s exactly what they’ll need as they face 7-0 Shane McClanahan. He’ll be opposed by Yusei Kikuchi, who has posted good numbers against the Rays since he signed with Toronto.



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