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News & Analysis

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays
Recap

Three-run eighth carries Rays past Blue Jays

May 14, 2022, 2:29 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Manuel Margot and Francisco Mejia each had RBI singles in the eighth inning and Brandon Lowe followed with a run-scoring triple as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Friday night at St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Blue Jays took their fourth straight loss, spoiling a strong effort by starting pitcher Kevin Gausman.

Margot, who missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury, broke a 2-2 tie when his line drive between shortstop and third base drove in pinch runner Vidal Brujan. It was Margo's 14th RBI in May.

Tim Mayza then took over for Gausman and got Wander Franco to ground into a double play. Mejia came on in as pinch hitter and singled home Taylor Walls to make it 4-2.

Lowe then hit his second triple of the night, scoring Mejia. He also tripled to lead off the second inning and scored on a fielder's choice.

Tampa Bay reliever Jason Adam came on to pitch a perfect ninth inning for his first career save.

Gausman was strong through the first seven innings but ran into trouble in the eighth inning after the Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the inning Raimel Tapia singled home Vinny Capra.

Gausman (3-2) was unable to get an out in the eighth inning. He wound up charged with four runs (three earned) on five hits and one walk. Gausman struck out eight.

Tapia had two hits, the only Toronto player to have a multiple-hit game.

Andrew Kittredge (3-0) shut down the Blue Jays' rally to earn the win with one scoreless inning.

Early on, the game was a pitcher's duel. Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen held Toronto scoreless for the first five innings, but he was pulled after 5 2/3, having allowed three hits and one run while striking out one and walking one.

The Rays' Mike Zunino hit an RBI single in the fifth to tie the game 1-1, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s run-scoring single in the sixth gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 edge.

Lowe and Zunino each had two hits for Tampa Bay.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Preview

Frustrated Jays hope to snap back against Rays

May 12, 2022, 8:29 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays open a three-game series Friday with the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., hoping they left at least some of their frustrations back in New York.

The exasperation spilled over Wednesday night in Toronto's 5-3 loss to the Yankees. After a fifth-inning strikeout, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. snapped his bat over his left knee.

The Blue Jays stranded 15 runners and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position during a pair of losses in Yankee Stadium.

After a strong 15-8 start that had them keeping pace with the Yankees, the Blue Jays have lost four in a row and seven of nine, and suddenly enter Thursday six games off the pace in the AL East.

"I think what gets lost on a lot of people is that we just had a long stretch and played some very, very good teams," veteran Toronto outfielder George Springer said. "We had some close games, had a lot of mentally draining games and physically draining games.

"This is not an excuse for why we're not doing what we expected to do as a team, but it happens. We've played 30 out of 31 days to start the year against really good teams. It's hard to do."

Springer said the Blue Jays are just pushing too hard.

"At this point in the year, we just have to slow some things down and not try to do too much," Springer said. "Don't try to hit the five-run homer if there's nobody on base. Slow down, stay within ourselves because there's a long way to go and a lot of time to right the ship."

The Rays could have been in the same boat as the Blue Jays if it wasn't for some late-game heroics by Vidal Brujan, who might be the latest gem up from Tampa Bay's productive farm system.

After starting a 10-game West Coast trip with six consecutive wins, the Rays lost three in a row. Tuesday, they called up Brujan from Triple-A Durham, and Wednesday he was in the lineup. In the 10th inning, he smacked an RBI double, stole third base and scored on a single by Harold Ramirez as the Rays defeated the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 in 10 innings.

"Seven and three is a lot better than 6-4," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said of the West Coast swing. "No doubt, avoiding four consecutive losses helps a lot."

Toronto and Tampa Bay will open the series by putting the ball in the hands of one of their top pitchers. For Toronto, it will be veteran right-hander Kevin Gausman (3-1, 2.13 ERA). The Rays will turn to right-hander Drew Rasmussen (3-1, 2.89).

Rasmussen has allowed just two earned runs while winning his last three starts. The Blue Jays have won Gausman's last four starts, as he has picked up three of the wins with one no-decision.

In 17 career games against Tampa Bay, including 15 starts, Gausman is 7-6 with a 4.00 ERA. Rasmussen is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against the Blue Jays.

--Field Level Media

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
News

Blue Jays RHP Yimi Garcia, pitching coach ejected over hit batter

May 11, 2022, 2:11 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays reliever Yimi Garcia, pitching coach Pete Walker and manager Charlie Montoyo were ejected from Tuesday's game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium after Garcia hit New York third baseman Josh Donaldson with a pitch in the sixth inning.

Donaldson, a former Blue Jay, was hit in the back by a 94 mph fastball two pitches after Garcia allowed a tying home run to Giancarlo Stanton.

The umpires briefly conferred and did not issue a warning but ejected Garcia. Montoyo argued demonstratively and appeared to get tossed, but instead Walker was ejected by crew chief and first base umpire Alfonso Marquez.

In the seventh, New York reliever Jonathan Loaisiga threw a 96 mph fastball up and in at Bo Bichette. Montoyo promptly started yelling from the dugout and was ejected by plate umpire Lance Barrett.

The sequence began about 15 minutes after DJ LeMahieu doubled to end a no-hit bid by starter Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi was lifted after retiring Anthony Rizzo on a fly ball to the warning track in center field.

David Phelps entered for Garcia, who did not record an out, and completed the inning for the Blue Jays.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays
News

Blue Jays activate OF Teoscar Hernandez from IL

May 7, 2022, 4:42 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays activated outfielder Teoscar Hernandez from the 10-day injured list on Saturday.

He will serve as the 27th man on the roster for Saturday's doubleheader against the Guardians in Cleveland.

Hernandez, 29, landed on the IL on April 14 with a left oblique strain.

He is batting .316 with one home run and three RBIs in six games with Toronto this season.

During a three-game rehab stint at Class-A Dunedin, he hit .455 (5 for 11) with two homers and four RBIs

Hernandez is coming off an All-Star season in 2021 when he batted .296 with 32 homers and 116 RBIs.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
News

Blue Jays-Guardians postponed, set for Saturday DH

May 6, 2022, 8:24 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Friday's game between the Toronto Blue Jays and host Cleveland Guardians has been postponed due to inclement weather.

The game will be made up as part of a traditional doubleheader on Saturday starting at 2:10 p.m. ET.

Fans holding tickets for Saturday's original game can attend both contests at Progressive Field. Those with tickets for Friday's postponed game have until July 1 to exchange them.

Cleveland won the series opener 6-5 on Thursday night.

The starting pitchers for Saturday's twinbill have not been confirmed.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals
News

Report: Jays sign LHP Derek Holland to minor league deal

May 4, 2022, 4:30 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays are signing veteran left-hander Derek Holland, Sportsnet reported Wednesday.

In a reply to a tweet, the 35-year-old Holland confirmed that the agreement is a minor league deal.

Holland made one appearance in spring training with the Boston Red Sox and was released on May 1.

He was 3-2 with a 5.07 ERA in 39 games (one start) last season with the Detroit Tigers.

Over 13 seasons, Holland is 82-83 with a 4.62 ERA in 346 games (228 starts) with the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Tigers.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers
News

Report: Blue Jays releasing veteran OF Dexter Fowler

May 3, 2022, 7:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays are granting outfielder Dexter Fowler's request to be released, Sportsnet reported Tuesday.

The Blue Jays signed the 36-year-old veteran to a minor league deal on March 31 and he appeared in three games at Triple-A Buffalo, batting .417 (5 for 12) with three RBIs.

He has not played in the majors since tearing his left ACL in a game with the Los Angeles Angels on April 9, 2021.

In 14 MLB seasons, Fowler has appeared in 1,460 games, collecting 1,306 hits -- 127 of them homers -- and 517 RBIs. A lifetime .259 hitter, he was an All-Star with the Cubs in 2016, winning the World Series in the second of his two seasons in Chicago.

Fowler also has played for the Colorado Rockies (2008-13), Houston Astros (2014) and St. Louis Cardinals (2017-20).

--Field Level Media

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks
News

Rays claim LHP Ben Bowden off waivers from Rockies

April 29, 2022, 7:01 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays claimed left-handed reliever Ben Bowden off waivers from the Colorado Rockies on Friday.

Bowden, 27, was 3-2 with a 6.56 ERA in 39 bullpen appearances during his rookie season in 2021. He struck out 42 and walked 21 in 35 2/3 innings.

He made seven relief appearances this season at Triple-A Albuquerque, posting an 8.22 ERA with no decisions.

The Rays, who had an open spot on their 40-man roster, assigned Bowden to Triple-A Durham.

The Rockies drafted Bowden in the second round out of Vanderbilt in 2016.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays
News

Blue Jays place LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (forearm) on 10-day IL

April 17, 2022, 6:01 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays placed left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu on the 10-day injured list Sunday with left forearm inflammation.

The move comes one day after Ryu experienced soreness in a game against the Oakland Athletics. He walked away with a no-decision despite allowing five earned runs on six hits in four innings.

Ryu (0-0, 13.50 ERA) has struggled to get going this season. The 35-year-old South Korean has permitted 11 earned runs on as many hits in 7 1/3 innings.

He is 73-45 with a 3.28 ERA in 171 career games (170 starts) with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2013-19) and Blue Jays.

Also on Sunday, the Blue Jays activated left-hander Ryan Borucki from the injured list. He had been sidelined with a right hamstring strain.

Borucki, 28, was 3-1 with a 4.94 ERA in 24 relief appearances last season. He is 8-9 with a 4.23 ERA in 64 career appearances (19 starts) with the Blue Jays.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
News

After cancer diagnosis, Buck Martinez stepping away from Blue Jays' booth

April 17, 2022, 5:57 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Longtime Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez has been diagnosed with cancer and is taking time off from his job for treatment, he announced Sunday.

A former major league catcher, including six seasons (1981-86) with the Blue Jays, Martinez has been part of the team's broadcast booth off and on since 1987, and full-time since 2010.

He also managed the Blue Jays to a 110-115 record in the 2001-02 seasons.

"I've been so honoured and privileged to have the support of Blue Jays fans, colleagues, staff and players since I arrived here in 1981, and that continued support through this next challenge means the world to me," the 73-year-old wrote in a statement posted to Twitter by Sportsnet, his employer.

"I'm grateful for a tremendous medical team, who has given me great optimism that I will come through this with flying colours. I hope to rejoin my Sportsnet teammates for the stretch run later this season, but in the meantime I will be watching from the sidelines as I fight the good fight."

In addition to the Blue Jays, Martinez played for the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers from 1969-86. He hit .225 with 58 home runs and 321 RBIs in 1,049 games.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
News

Blue Jays place OF Teoscar Hernandez on 10-day IL

April 14, 2022, 9:05 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a left oblique strain.

Hernandez sustained the injury while swinging the bat during Toronto's 6-4 win over the host New York Yankees on Wednesday. Initially he shook off the team trainer and coaches as they went to check on him, however Hernandez showed discomfort after hitting a ground ball on his next swing.

The Blue Jays recalled infielder Gosuke Katoh from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Thursday's series finale against the Yankees.

Hernandez, 29, is 6-for-19 (.316) with one home run and three RBIs in six games this season. He is coming off a career season in 2021, when he batted .296 with 32 homers and 116 RBIs.

Katoh, 27, went 0-for-5 with two RBIs in one game with Buffalo this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians
News

Guardians trade OF Bradley Zimmer to Blue Jays

April 8, 2022, 1:05 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired outfielder Bradley Zimmer on Thursday from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for right-hander Anthony Castro.

Zimmer, 29, has 263 games of major league experience over five seasons with Cleveland, hitting 19 home runs with 86 RBIs. He matched a career best with eight home runs last season along with 35 RBIs.

Castro, 26, has 26 major league appearances over the past two seasons. He appeared in one game with the Detroit Tigers in 2020, then pitched 25 games in relief last season with the Blue Jays, posting a 4.74 ERA.

The trade was announced shortly after the Guardians dropped a 3-1 decision at Kansas City in their season opener.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays
News

Spring training: Bryce Harper slugs two HRs in Phillies' win

April 6, 2022, 10:01 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper smacked two homers and drove in four runs as the Philadelphia Phillies rolled to a 9-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Harper concluded spring training with a .400 average in 35 at-bats and led the majors in both homers (eight) and RBIs (14).

Rhys Hoskins and Mickey Moniak added two-run blasts and Johan Camargo added a solo shot for the Phillies. Left-hander Ranger Suarez retired all 11 batters he faced for Philadelphia.

The Rays had just three hits, all singles. Taylor Walls drove in a run in the fifth on a forceout and Ronny Simon had an RBI single in the ninth.

Both teams open the regular season on Friday. The Phillies host the Oakland Athletics, while the Rays host the Baltimore Orioles.

--Field Level Media

MLB: ALDS-Workouts
News

Reports: Rays sign OF Manuel Margot to 2-year extension

April 5, 2022, 7:02 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays signed outfielder Manuel Margot to a two-year extension worth $19 million, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

Margot signed a one-year, $5.6 million contract with the club earlier this spring to avoid arbitration. The extension keeps the 27-year-old under contract through the 2024 season.

Margot batted .254 with 10 home runs, 57 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 125 games for the Rays in 2021.

Tampa bay acquired Margot from the San Diego Padres in a February 2020 trade.

He is a career .251 hitter with 44 homers, 198 RBIs and 75 steals in 600 games with the Padres (2016-19) and Rays.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
News

Tigers acquire OF Austin Meadows from Rays

April 5, 2022, 3:02 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Austin Meadows, one of the American League's RBI leaders last season, was acquired by the Detroit Tigers on Monday in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Detroit sent infielder Isaac Paredes and a competitive balance round B pick in the 2022 draft to Tampa Bay in exchange for Meadows, 26.

The move comes a day after Meadows exited a spring training game due to soreness on both quadriceps. Meadows told reporters on Monday that he was optimistic for the Rays' season opener on Friday against the visiting Baltimore Orioles. The Tigers also open on Friday, against the visiting Chicago White Sox.

Meadows knocked in a career-best 106 runs last year, which ranked seventh in the AL. He hit .234 with a .315 on-base percentage, a .458 slugging percentage and 27 homers in a career-high 142 games.

Meadows also set a Rays franchise record in 2021 with 19 game-winning RBI, the top total in the majors.

An All-Star in 2019, when he hit a career-high 33 homers, Meadows has a career .260/.333/.489 batting line with 70 homers and 225 RBIs in 375 games. A first-round draft pick of the Pirates in 2013, he broke into the majors by playing 49 games for Pittsburgh in 2018. He went to the Rays in the Chris Archer trade on July 31 that year.

It remains to be seen where he will fit in with the Tigers. Detroit appeared set on an outfield of Akil Baddoo, Victor Reyes and Robbie Grossman with Miguel Cabrera at designated hitter before the Monday deal.

Paredes, 23, hit .208/.306/.319 with one homer and five RBIS in 23 games for the Tigers last year. In two major league seasons, both with the Tigers, he has a .215/.290/.302 hitting line with two homers and 11 RBIs in 57 games.

--Field Level Media