Rays lose series to Toronto Blue Jays

by Gary Shelton on September 16, 2021

in general

Zunino hit his 30th homer./CHUCK MULLER

Thursday, 4 a.m.

So pick your poison. Who scares you the most?

Is it the Boston Red Sox, who spent almost three months atop the AL East? Is it the New York Yankees, whose payroll exceeds $200 million dollars?

Or is it the suddenly powerful Toronto Blue Jays, a team that blends power and pitching perfectly?

Even if they clinch the AL East (they have an eight-game lead), the Rays face a daunting division series of the playoffs. And frankly, the Blue Jays suddenly look as scary as any team currently playing.

The Jays bashed the Rays, 6-3, on Wednesday to take a series win over the Rays, jumping to 3-0 first inning lead and leading 6-1 after five. Robbie Ray pitched well for Toronto, allowing only four hits and one earned run through seven innings and striking out 13.

"Ray had another good start against us," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash.
It’s hard to argue that it's not the best fastball going right now. It's a very simple approach. For the most part, he’s going to come at you with fastballs in the top of the zone. When it's there, there isn't much you can do with it. It's one of those tip-you-caps days, a tip-your-cap season for him."

Cash said he liked the way his own starter, Michael Wacha, competed. But Wacha gave up six runs and seven hits in six innings. Which begs the question: Who will the Rays start on the mound in that first round? Shane McClanahan? Drew Rasmussen? Who?

Tampa Bay made the score a bit closer when Mike Zunino hit his 30th home run. Since 2001, there have only been a half-dozen seasons in which a catcher hit 30 home runs or more.

Brett Phillips hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the final score.

The Rays now return to St. Petersburg to face Detroit for a four-game series. Dietrich Enns will start for the Rays against the Tigers' Tyler Alexander at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field.


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