Rays clinch playoff berth in victory over Blue Jays

Austin Meadows’ three-run homer highlighted Tampa Bay’s six-run third inning Wednesday afternoon, securing a playoff berth for the Rays in a 7-1 drubbing of the Toronto Blue Jays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

After losing Tuesday despite being issued 11 walks and a hit batter, the Rays (94-59) erupted by batting around against Toronto for the third time this season.

The lefty-hitting Meadows struck the big blow. Yandy Diaz (sacrifice fly) and Taylor Walls (two-run single) brought home tallies as Tampa Bay sent 10 men to the plate, setting the groundwork for its 11th win in 19 games against its Canadian rival.

The victory sent the American League East-leading Rays to their third consecutive postseason — seventh in club history — and improved their major-league-best record in day games to 39-19.

Randy Arozarena went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs, Francisco Mejia and Diaz (two RBIs) produced two-hit games, and JT Chargois (6-1) earned the win in relief of rookie starter Luis Patino.

The Blue Jays (85-67) got a 2-for-3 showing, with a double, walk and a run from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. but managed only four hits.

They lost for just the fifth time in 21 games in September.

Julian Merryweather served as the opener and pitched a scoreless inning — allowing a hit and a walk — before turning the duties over to Ross Stripling (5-7), who was rocked for five hits and five runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched.

In the final regular-season meeting between the division foes, Tampa Bay’s lineup struck first in the third, loading the bases behind Brandon Lowe’s leadoff single, Arozarena’s double and Ji-Man Choi’s walk.

Diaz lofted a sacrifice fly, and Meadows drove Stripling’s belt-high 91 mph fastball an estimated 443 feet — his 26th homer and longest in 2021 — with the blast landing on top of the tarp deep in right-center.

Both benches emptied without incident in the eighth after Toronto’s Ryan Borucki hit Kevin Kiermaier in the middle of the back with a 93-mph pitch.

Kiermaier became the center of attention Monday after collecting and keeping a loose Toronto data card following a slide at home plate.

Borucki and Toronto pitching coach Pete Walker were ejected during the on-field delay.

Blogs

Advertise with us with SWEET DEALS!

Advertise with us with SWEET DEALS!

Sweet Deals are radio advertising at its best. It’s a cash-free marketing campaign for your business that grows your customer base. It’s not about the offer – it’s about branding. We limit your liability by selling a fixed, fair number of deals. If you would like more information on our Sweet Deals program, fill out…

Special Offers Inside!

All around Eugene, local businesses are still open, and some are offering special deals and offers. We want to make sure you can help out a local business during these trying times.  Here are just a few: Looking for some fresh, local, beer, and some amazing food? Then head on down to 1865 W 6th…

Local Resources

These are some very trying times on our hands, and here at The Score, we are trying to give you as many local resources and information that we can to assist you. If you, or someone you know, has lost their job and needs more information regarding unemployment information you can click HERE or HERE for…

The Score’s Online Career Fair

The Score’s Online Career Fair

THESE LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE HIRING Click on the logo of the company below, and it will take you to that website. Eugene School District 4J Elwood Staffing Farwest Steel Lane Community College Northwest College Professional Credit Nova Healthcare Express Employment Northwest Community Credit Union Oregon Department of Transportation