Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Toronto uses long ball to power past Tampa Bay

Field Level Media
26 Sep 2022, 06:40 GMT+10

George Springer slugged two of Toronto's four homers as the Blue Jays widened the gap in the American League wild-card race with the Tampa Bay Rays, beating the division foe 7-1 Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Blue Jays (86-67) pounded three home runs off ace Shane McClanahan to increase their lead to two games over Tampa Bay (84-69) in the chase for the No. 1 wild-card and home-field advantage.

Springer went 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs and three RBIs. Teoscar Hernandez launched a mammoth two-run shot, and Alejandro Kirk ripped a solo homer as Toronto won its second straight game after dropping a pair to open the four-game series.

Over five innings, Ross Stripling (9-4) yielded one run on six hits, while fanning three without a walk.

Harold Ramirez went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .313, and Wander Franco had a single to stretch his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games. Randy Arozarena doubled and drove in a run.

Back on the mound after a brief four-plus-inning start Tuesday, McClanahan (12-7) gave up six hits over five innings. He allowed four runs and two walks to go with two strikeouts.

Tampa Bay won the season series 10-9 and own the wild-card tiebreaker over Toronto.

The Blue Jays used an impressive power display to grab a 3-0 lead.

Batting fourth as the club's designated hitter, Kirk took McClanahan deep while leading off the second. He drove the southpaw's 97 mph four-seamer to left for his 14th homer.

Springer provided the pop in the third after Raimel Tapia opened with an infield single. The center fielder lashed a slider from McClanahan and sent out a 375-foot opposite-field pop to right field for a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom half, Taylor Walls' leadoff double came home to score after a groundout by Manuel Margot and a sacrifice fly from Arozarena.

Springer barreled up another blast off McClanahan in the fifth -- a colossal 439-foot rocket to center for his 23rd homer and a 4-1 lead.

In the eighth after Matt Chapman walked, Hernandez launched the day's longest homer -- a 464-foot shot to left-center -- for his 22nd long ball.

Tapia led off the ninth with his third triple and plated the final run on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s two-out single.

--Field Level Media

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