Manoah, Merrifield lead Jays to 3-1 win over Rays |

Manoah, Merrifield lead Jays to 3-1 win over Rays  |

2022-09-25 07:23:02

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Toronto interim supervisor John Schneider is prepared to go all in attempting to get the highest AL wild card and the house playoff sequence that goes with it.

Alex Manoah and Whit Merrifield helped the Blue Jays transfer nearer to that objective.

Manoah pitched seven shutout innings, Merrifield hit a three-run homer and the Blue Jays regained the primary wild-card spot with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday evening.

“Adore it, man,” Manoah mentioned when requested about pitching in large video games. “We’ve received an amazing crew. Having the ability to come to battle with these guys, it’s what I dreamed of my complete life proper right here. Being on that mound, I wouldn’t wish to be wherever else.”

The Blue Jays lead Tampa Bay by one recreation. The highest wild card finisher will host all video games of their best-of-three opening-round sequence, whereas the opposite two wild playing cards play strictly on the highway.

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Schneider mentioned Thursday he would use Manoah within the remaining regular-season recreation if residence area was at stake. Internet hosting in Toronto would imply an amazing deal after the Blue Jays spent 2020 and a part of 2021 taking part in residence video games away from residence as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rays might even have an actual home-field benefit at Tropicana Area, the place they’re 51-29. Tampa Bay’s highway mark is 33-39.

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“That is an attention-grabbing place,” Schneider mentioned. “I feel guys say that, whether or not it’s from the roof, the lighting, the turf, the filth within the infield. Their mound appears excessive. Their acoustics are bizarre. It looks like their gamers embrace it slightly bit, and use it as a bonus at instances. It’s one thing you’ve set to work round one of the best you may.”

Manoah (15-7) scattered 4 hits, walked two and struck out eight whereas throwing a season-high 113 pitches. The righty labored out of a two-on, one-out jam within the sixth by putting out Randy Arozarena and getting a flyout from David Peralta.

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Jordan Romano changed Tim Mayza with two on and two outs within the eighth and allowed pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez’s RBI infield single however averted additional injury by putting out Manuel Margot. Romano completed the sport to get his thirty fifth save in 41 probabilities.

Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen (10-7) gave up one run, three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 5.

The groups mixed for 31 runs, with the Rays accounting for 20, within the first two video games of the sequence that had been each received by Tampa Bay.

Arozarena received the Rays’ first hit with a two-out double within the fourth. He grew to become the primary Tampa Bay participant and twentieth large leaguer to have 40 doubles, 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season.

Teoscar Hernández ended Rasmussen’s evening with a double within the seventh. Brooks Raley entered and, after a stroll to pinch-hitter Danny Jansen, Merrifield made it 3-0 on his tenth homer of the season.

“It’s two groups simply completely duking it out for spots within the playoffs,” Raley mentioned. “They performed onerous tonight, we performed onerous tonight. They’d a superb pitching efficiency, Ras did a heck of a job. That is playoff baseball.”

Merrifield homered twice in Thursday evening’s 10-5 loss to the Rays.

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Alejandro Kirk opened the second with a single earlier than Rasmussen retired 12 in a row till Merrifield’s leadoff double within the sixth.

Plate umpire Corey Blaser took a tough foul ball by Margot on the masks within the eighth however remained within the recreation.


The Rays posted a thanks on the message board for CF Kevin Kiermaier, who’s out for the season following left hip surgical procedure. Kiermaier is within the remaining season of a $53.5 million, six-year contract that features a membership choice for 2023 that’s anticipated to be declined.


Rays ace Shane McClanahan was voted the Don Zimmer MVP award winner by members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America. CF Jose Siri was chosen because the excellent rookie. 3B Yandy Díaz obtained the Paul C. Smith Champions award because the participant who finest exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the sector.


Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (lat pressure) allowed three runs and three hits over two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Buffalo.

Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe (decrease again) is completed for the season.

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McClanahan (12-6), pulled from his begin Tuesday within the fifth inning attributable to neck tightness, will face Blue Jays RHP Ross Stripling (8-4) on Sunday.


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