Jays daze Rays with Morales’ grand slam

by Gary Shelton on April 7, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Bucs

Steven Souza Jr. in pain after sliding to home base./STEVEN MUNCIE

Steven Souza Jr. in pain after sliding to home platee./STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 1 p.m.

The toughest lesson, of course, was when the ball flew far over the left field fence, and Blake Snell realized he had just given up a grand slam.

The most important lesson, however, was the two walks that had led to his moments.

Together, the two led to a four-run third inning that led the Toronto Blue Jays  to a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday night. Snell gave up a grand slam to Kendrys Morales in the third, but only after giving up two-out walks to Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista.

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Snell shows emotion after a big strikeout./STEVEN MUNCIE

Snell shows emotion after a big strikeout./STEVEN MUNCIE

“Walks,” Snell said, shaking his head. “That's always been the thing that gets me so. So I just got to attack, and I felt like I did really good attacking today. Just gotta do some things mentally to stay into it, but, like I said, things I'm aware of so I can get better at it."

Manager Kevin Cash agreed.

“I thought Blake had really good stuff,” Cash said. “I thought Blake threw the ball really well. Obviously any time you give up a grand slam in the 3rd, it's going to be a big blow. Maybe he drew some experiences from last year, knowing that at that point the game wasn’t over. We still had plenty of outs and innings to get, and he went and got them for us.

"Blake's going to be just fine," Cash said. "We're very confident in that. I'm very confident in that.

The Rays struggled against Blue Jays' starter Marcus Stroman, who was backed by three of Toronto's

Kevin Kiermaier wears the  look of dejection./STEVEN MUNCIE

Kevin Kiermaier wears the look of dejection./STEVEN MUNCIE

four double plays.

Through four games, however, the Rays' starting pitching has been pretty good, and the bullpen has been better. Coming into the season, that was thought to be the key factor for these Rays. Both Chris Archer and Alex Cobb have been superb, and Jake Odorizzi and Snell had their moments.

For the second straight night, Souza was out at the plate for the Rays. This time, he jammed his leg but stayed in the game and had three hits. Snell struck out five and had five walks.

“I was really proud of him, actually,” Souza said. “One pitch changed the game. He got himself into jam. He could’ve collapsed after that and he went 6 2/3 and did a great job. That’s a good start to build off of. Obviously the results weren’t there with the grand slam, but he can build off that result and keep going forward.”

Smith is barely beaten to first on a groundout./Steven Muncie

Smith is barely beaten to first on a groundout./Steven Muncie

 

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