R.A. Dickey beats the Rays

Tonight, R.A. Dickey pitched 7.1 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, giving up only five hits and two runs on solo homeruns by Ben Zobrist in the first inning and Delmon Young in the second.  Pitching for the Rays was Jeremy Hellickson who faced the minimum batters through the first three frames, only to see a couple of errors let the Blue Jays score four runs in the fourth inning before adding another pair in the fifth for a 6-2.

José Reyes opened the fourth inning with a single.  Munenori Kawasaki then put down a perfect sacrifice bunt down the third base line to allow Reyes to move to second base.  An error by Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria allowed Brett Lawrie to reach first base putting runners at first and second with one out.  Moises Sierra then hit a single to right field scoring Reyes from second and moving Lawrie to third.  Anthony Gose then hit a single to centre field scoring Brett Lawrie.  Sierra was stopped at second base.  After Mark DeRosa struck out, Ryan Goins hit a single to centre field.  Rays centre fielder Sam Fuld missed the ball, which rolled to the deepest part of centre field, both Sierra and Gose scored and Goins made it to third base.  However, he did not stop at third but continued on to try and score.  Unfortunately the Rays’ defense had been able to get the ball and get it to home just before Goins could slide in safely for the third out.  But what an exciting end to the inning.

In the fifth inning, Reyes and Kawasaki were both walked.  Reyes would be brought home on a single to centre field by Lawrie.  Kawasaki was then brought home on a single by Sierra, but Lawrie was able to move to third base thanks to a throwing error by Longoria.

That was all the scoring until the ninth when the Rays added one more run thanks to a double by ex-Blue Jay Kelly Johnson which scored Longoria.

Sergio Santos, who came in with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning, before getting a 4-6-3 double play on the first, picked up his first save of the inning by throwing the last five outs of the ball game, including three strikeouts in the ninth.

Attendance was 27,288.  The win guarantees that the Blue Jays cannot finish with more than 89 losses.  However, the Rays already have 90 wins on the season, the fourth consecutive year they have reached the 90 win mark, and the fifth time in the last six years.  The Rays are extremely impressive, and with a win this weekend can clinch a wildcard berth.  That made tonight’s game, plus the last two remaining games very important for them, and gives the Blue Jays a chance to play spoilers.  Let’s see what they can do on Saturday and Sunday.

With his last start of the season, R.A. Dickey improves to 14-13, leading the team in wins.  Hellickson finishes the season with record of 12-10.  The Rays are now 90-70, while the Blue Jays are 73-87.

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