Instant Reaction: Blue Jays beat Rays 8-2 for their fifth Opening Day victory in a row

Photo credit:© Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
19 days ago
That’s a nice way to start a season.
The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 8-2 on Thursday afternoon to earn their fifth consecutive Opening Day victory.
Yandy Diaz opened the scoring for Tampa with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning that just scraped over the left-field wall. After going nine-up, nine-down in the first three innings, George Springer put the Blue Jays on the board with a solo home run.
The score remained tied at 1-1 for a couple more innings and then the Blue Jays kicked the door open with a five-run sixth inning. Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. both launched home runs and then the bottom of the order rallied for a few more runs.
Following Vladdy’s moonshot, Bo Bichette hit an infield single, Justin Turner was hit by a pitch, Daulton Varsho drew a walk, and then Alejandro Kirk hit a base-loaded single that cashed two runs. Kevin Kiermaier came up next and drove in another run with a single into centre field.
In the seventh, Biggio and Springer drew walks and Bichette drove them both home with a two-run double to extend Toronto’s lead to 8-2. The Blue Jays closed the door the rest of the way and cruised to an easy win.

Things worth mentioning…

José Berrios’s second Opening Day start with the Blue Jays went much better than his first. After failing to get out of the first inning against the Texas Rangers a couple of years ago, Berrios put forward a quality start against the Rays to help get Toronto’s season off on the right foot. The veteran right-hander went six innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk. He also struck out six batters.
After Berrios was lifted from the game, the Blue Jays got through the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings without any trouble. Trevor Richards had a scoreless seventh inning, Nate Pearson struck out two in the eighth, and Tim Mayza worked around a double to complete the win in the ninth.
The offence was a big story heading into the season and the bats came through for the Blue Jays in their opener. Six different players recorded hits and the team combined to draw seven walks. Though he only wound up with one hit, the solo bomb in the sixth, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smashed the ball a few times. His dinger flew 450 feet to deep centre field and he had two more balls hit over 100 miles per hour.
Up next… The Blue Jays and Rays will play again on Friday at 6:50 ET. Chris Bassitt will take the mound against right-hander Aaron Civale.


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