Sun, 27 Nov 2022

Blue Jays edge Rays 3-1 in key wild-card win

Field Level Media
25 Sep 2022, 11:55 GMT+10

Toronto's Alek Manoah fired seven shutout innings, Whit Merrifield homered and the Blue Jays regained the top wild-card spot in the American League, beating the host Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

In a scoreless game in the seventh, Merrifield, who also doubled, jumped on a first-pitch slider against left-handed reliever Brooks Raley with two runners for a three-run homer -- his 10th of the season and third in the series. It was all the runs the visitors needed.

Over a season-high 113 pitches, Manoah (15-7) surrendered just four hits and two walks while striking out eight. The victory moved him to 3-0 in five September starts.

Closer Jordan Romano recorded a four-out save -- his 35th in 41 chances -- by fanning three of the five batters he faced.

The win snapped Toronto's (85-67) three-game losing skid and propelled the club back into the No. 1 wild-card position by one game over the Rays (84-68).

Tampa Bay's Randy Arozarena went 2-for-4 with a double, and Wander Franco singled to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.

Over 6 1/3 innings, Drew Rasmussen (10-7) took a hard-luck loss, allowing just a run on three hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts.

Manoah and Rasmussen were dialed in early in the third meeting of the four-game series.

The Toronto right-hander faced the minimum over three frames, allowing just a walk to David Peralta, who was erased on a double-play ball.

Rasmussen was equally good through five innings. He yielded a single to Alejandro Kirk in the second before retiring 12 consecutive Blue Jays.

In the sixth, the Blue Jays put the first two batters on against Rasmussen. Merrifield led off with a double to center, and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a walk. But Rasmussen whiffed George Springer then got red-hot Bo Bichette to slap a groundout to first.

Following a walk to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to fill the bases, Kirk rolled a groundout to shortstop to end the frame.

--Field Level Media

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