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 week-long eight-game homestand 4-4.
Mood was already grim on the home team as the Blue Jays mourned the sudden death of 17-year-old Julia Budzinski, the eldest of three children of first base coach Ken Budzinski and his wife Monica.
Toronto announced Budzinski will take time away from the Blue Jays to mourn with his family.
The Blue Jays were 1-1 through four innings after trailing eight runners on base, including six who were stranded in the goal position.
In the fifth inning before 35.757 at Rogers Center, Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling (4-3) handed a leadoff double to Taylor Walls, who shot Yandy Diaz’s single into right field.
Ramirez drilled a two-run shot to right field to end Stripling’s day. He lasted 4 ⅔ innings and gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
Stripling had allowed no more than two runs in five consecutive starts.
Toronto substitute Trent Thornton replaced Stripling and was greeted with a solo homer by Ji-Man Choi and a two-run blaster to direct midfield two batters later to Arozarena.
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The Rays enjoyed a 14-hit offensive outing, with Choi leading with three hits.
Tampa Bay starter Shane Baz (1-1) squeezed out of jams in the first four innings, keeping bases loaded in the first and fourth frames.
But Baz finished strong, knocking out the last eight batsmen he faced in his 94-pitch, 6-inning performance. He batted seven, walked two and gave up a run on seven hits.
The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Toronto third baseman Matt Chapman made a high throwing error.
The Blue Jays squared the game in the third inning. George Springer started with a double on the left field line. He fell short of advancing to third after Bo Bichette’s groundout, scoring with a single to the left of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Toronto added a run in the eighth inning and another in the ninth. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. drove a double on the right field line. He moved up to third after a Raimel Tapia groundout and hit right midfield on Chapman’s long sacrificial flight.
In the final inning, Guerrero hit a double down the right field line to score Cavan Biggio. It was Guerrero’s third goal of the game.
GAUSMAN UPDATE: The Blue Jays will wait and see how Kevin Gausman’s bruised ankle feels after the club’s chartered flight to California before deciding if he will make his next scheduled start on Thursday. Gausman felt some stiffness and pain a day after taking a 100-mile line drive off his right ankle, forcing him to walk out of the opener of the Blue Jays doubleheader 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 set against the Seattle Mariners. Alek Manoah (9-2) starts Monday for the Blue Jays. Lefty Cole Irvin (2-6) will take the mound for athletics. The series opener in Oakland marks the halfway point in their schedule for the Blue Jays, their 81st game.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 3, 2022.
© 2022 The Canadian Press
https://globalnews.ca/news/8964361/jays-drop-five-game-set-to-tampa-3-2/ Jays lose five games to Tampa 3-2