ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays collected in entrance in their dugout and posed for a celebratory staff image they are hoping may not be the final they take this postseason.
Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam and the top-seeded Rays gained a postseason sequence for the primary time in 12 years, overpowering the younger Toronto Blue Jays Eight-2 Wednesday to complete a two-game sweep in their wild-card matchup.
And with a roster that includes only a handful of avid gamers who’ve posted spectacular resumes thus far, the AL East champs imagine they are nowhere close to completed.
“We’ve been assured since Day One. So if we put the our heads down and do exactly what we’ve been doing and get ready like we’ve been getting ready, the sky’s the prohibit,” successful pitcher Tyler Glasnow mentioned.
Stated supervisor Kevin Money: “We have now excellent avid gamers at the beginning.”
Renfroe introduced the primary playoff grand slam in franchise historical past all through a six-run moment inning. Glasnow saved Tampa Bay forward from there, permitting two runs — on a couple of homers through Danny Jansen — in six innings.
Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer off Blue Jays ace Hyun Jin Ryu all through Tampa Bay’s large inning. Manuel Margot and Randy Arozarena additionally drove in runs because the Rays complicated to the AL Department sequence towards both the New York Yankees or Cleveland Indians.
The following spherical begins Monday at Petco Park in San Diego. Renfroe is lots conversant in the stadium — he hit 85 house runs within the earlier 3 years for the Padres ahead of being traded to the Rays final December.
“The chance in entrance people is the place you wish to have to be,” Money mentioned.
The Rays celebrated with some hugs and handshakes after the overall out.
Glasnow, who walked one and struck out 8 ahead of a small amassing of friends and family who have been allowed to wait the sequence at Tropicana Box.
Ryu used to be rocked for a season-high seven runs in 1 2/Three innings, the lefty’s shortest day out of the season for the wild-card Blue Jays.
It used to be a disappointing end for Toronto, which overcame a sluggish begin to make a shocking run to its first playoff berth since 2016 with a roster that includes 19 avid gamers with out earlier primary league playoff enjoy, together with Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
“Nice season. I’m pleased with my children to make it up to now,” second-year Blue Jays supervisor Charlie Montoyo mentioned.
“It’s evident that the Rays are a horny just right staff, that’s why they’re picked to visit the Global Collection,” he mentioned. “On this sequence, we didn’t hit. We simplest scored 3 runs. That’s no longer sufficient to overcome that staff.”
The Rays, who gained the opener Three-1 with a pleasant mixture of pitching, protection and well timed hitting, had dropped 5 consecutive multigame postseason sequence courting to the 2008 Global Collection.
A yr in the past, they beat Oakland within the AL wild-card recreation ahead of shedding to Houston within the department spherical — a five-game setback that nonetheless heightened staff expectancies heading into this season.
Ryu signed with the Blue Jays in unfastened company final wintry weather after being an All-Famous person with the Los Angeles Dodgers and completing moment in NL Cy Younger Award voting in 2019.
The 33-year-old lefty had the AL’s fourth-best ERA this season. And, his occupation mark of .295 is third-best in the back of Clayton Kershaw (2.43) and Jacob deGrom (2.61) amongst lively pitchers with no less than 700 innings pitched.
Ryu’s spectacular credentials intended not anything Wednesday.
The Rays started the primary inning with 3 instantly hits and scored their first run on Manuel Margot’s one-out unmarried. Ryu escaped a bases-loaded jam through placing out Willy Adames, on the other hand his day out were given worse the following inning.
After Zunino’s homer made it Three-Zero, Tampa Bay loaded the bases once more on a double, stroll and shortstop Bo Bichette’s moment error of the day.
Renfroe, acquired from San Diego in an offseason industry that despatched Tommy Pham to the Padres, hit his grand slam into the left box seats to increase the result in 7-Zero.
“They have been getting hits off all my pitches. I don’t assume they have been essentially sitting on one or one thing like that,” Ryu mentioned via a translator. “I simply didn’t have a just right recreation.”
“We have now so much to be pleased with, we in reality do,” Jansen mentioned. “We knocked at the door and subsequent yr we’re going to be in a position to head via it.”
Blue Jays: 1B Rowdy Tellez, who had a pinch-hit unmarried in Sport 1 Tuesday, remained out of the beginning lineup. He used to be positioned at the 10-day IL on Sept. nine with a proper knee sprain and ignored the remainder of the common season.
Rays: INF Yandy Díaz (proper hamstring pressure) began at 1/3 base, his first recreation since Aug. 31.
The Rays will play within the AL department spherical for the 6th time in franchise historical past, with the entire appearances coming since 2008.
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