Welcome to the Blue Jays Wild Card Watch, a daily snapshot of where Toronto stands in relation to its rivals in the playoffs. Every morning we briefly summarize the action of the previous night and tell what comes next.
The Toronto Blue Jays got on the wrong foot in their decisive series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday and stranded the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a 6-4 loss.
Cy Young candidate Robbie Ray could not make it through five frames and flirted with danger at apparently every turn before Tampa finally ended up with a big hit in the form of a Yandy Díaz three-run homer.
The bullpen could not stop the bleeding and surrendered a run in every sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Marcus Semien made things interesting with a two-run homer at ninth, but some questionable referees helped ruin Toronto’s comeback hopes.
With the loss, it looks like this in the American League wild-card race at the moment:
The Blue Jays will aim to get back in the winning column on Tuesday night when they send Alek Manoah (3.39 ERA) to the mound. Manoah dominated the Rays last week at Rogers Center, throwing eight innings of shutout, a shot with the ball. Right-handed Drew Rasmussen (3.00 ERA) goes after the rays.
Here’s a look at what the other hopefuls in the AL playoffs look like:
Boston Red Sox
The result last night: Off day
Tonight’s match: Boston welcomes the New York Mets to Fenway Park for an interleague showdown in the late season. Eduardo Rodriguez (5.00 ERA) takes the bump for the Red Sox, while the Blue Jays hope old friend Marcus Stroman (2.88 ERA) can do them a favor and provide a gem for the Mets.
New York Yankees
The result last night: Gary Sanchez joined for a homer and the recently faltering New York bullpen combined for 4.2 goalless innings to keep the Texas Rangers 4-4.
Tonight’s match: The Yankees and Rangers resume their series in the Bronx. Jordan Montgomery (3.63 ERA) gets a nod to the home team, while Texas counters with Dane Dunning (4.28 ERA).
The result last night: Athletics saw their five-game winning streak end as the Seattle Mariners crawled back into the playoffs with a 4-2 victory.
Tonight’s match: Oakland and Seattle continue their rivalry as the sailors start Marco Gonzales against athletics’ Paul Blackburn. The Blue Jays will hope that these two teams go back and forth with victories to essentially seal both of their fates in the wild-card picture.
See the Athletics section.
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