Jays lose 7-3 to visiting Tampa to drop five-game three-to-two set
TORONTO — Harold Ramirez and Randy Arozarena hit two-run homers to trigger a six-run fifth inning in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 7-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
The Blue Jays (44-36) lost their third straight game to the Rays (43-36) to drop the five-game set 3-2 and split their eight-game week-long stay at 4-4.
The mood around the home team was already grim as the Blue Jays mourned the sudden passing of 17-year-old Julia Budzinski, the eldest of three children of first base coach Ken Budzinski and his wife, Monica.
Toronto announced that Budzinski would take time away from the Blue Jays to grieve with his family.
The Blue Jays were tied 1-1 in four innings after leaving eight runners on base, including six stuck in scoring position.
In the fifth inning before 35,757 at Rogers Center, Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling (4-3) gave up a brace to Taylor Walls, who scored Yandy Diaz’s single to right field.
Ramirez drilled a two-point shot to right field to end Stripling’s day. He went 4 ⅔ innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
Stripling hadn’t allowed more than two runs in five straight starts.
Toronto reliever Trent Thornton replaced Stripling and was greeted by a solo homer from Ji-Man Choi and a two-run outburst to center field two hitters later at Arozarena.
The Rays had a 14-hit offensive outing with Choi leading with three hits.
Tampa Bay starter Shane Baz (1-1) escaped traffic in the first four innings, leaving the bases loaded in the first and fourth frames.
But Baz finished strong, striking out the last eight batters he faced in his 94-pitch performance over six innings. He struck out seven, walked two and gave up a run on seven hits.
The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a big throwing error by Toronto third baseman Matt Chapman.
The Blue Jays tied the game in the third inning. George Springer started with a brace down the left field line. He went third on the field to Bo Bichette at short and scored on a left single from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Toronto added a run in the eighth and another in the ninth. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scored twice on the right field line. He went third on a pitch by Raimel Tapia and scored on Chapman’s sacrificial long volley to right center field.
In the final inning, Guerrero scored a brace down the right field line to score Cavan Biggio. It was Guerrero’s third hit in the game.
GAUSMAN UPDATE: The Blue Jays will wait to see how Kevin Gausman’s ankle bruise feels after the club’s charter flight to California before determining whether he will make his next scheduled start on Thursday. Gausman felt stiffness and pain one day after taking a 100 mph line on his right ankle, forcing him out of Game 1 for the Blue Jays in the second inning on Saturday.
UP NEXT: The Blue Jays travel to the West Coast to open a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics, followed by a four-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Alek Manoah (9-2) will start for the Blue Jays on Monday. Southpaw Cole Irvin (2-6) will take the mound for Athletics. The series opener in Oakland will mark the halfway point of the Blue Jays’ schedule, their 81st outing.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 3, 2022.
Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press