Marcus Semien and Steven Matz dominated on Friday night, lifting the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Steven Matz, who was acquired this offseason in a trade with the New York Mets, has been terrific for Toronto this season. On Friday night, Matz pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs, five hits, and two walks, with seven strikeouts. The 29-year-old improved to 4-0 on the season, after going 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA last year with New York.
“(Matz) was able throw his changeup behind in the count,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He mixed his off-speed pitches in there. I don’t think there were many surprises; we had a pretty good understanding of what he was going to try to do, which he did. He just executed very, very well.”
Meanwhile, Tyler Glasnow got his first loss of the season. Glasnow, 27, went six innings, giving up five earned runs, five hits, and two walks, with 10 strikeouts.
Coming in, Glasnow had a career-high seven-game winning streak, dating to last year. However, on Friday night, it came to an end.
Chris Mazza, who was acquired in a trade with the Boston Red Sox this offseason, pitched out of his mind on Friday night. The 31-year-old came in to relief Tyler Glasnow, and finished the game – Tampa Bay only used two pitchers. Mazza pitched three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit. Mazza was just sent down Thursday, but rejoined the team with Diego Castillo out while dealing with side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Marcus Semien, who was signed to a one-year, $18 million dollar deal this offseason, hit a three-run home run during the first inning. It was Semien’s fifth blast of the season. In brief, nine Blue Jays came to the plate and four struck out in a four-run first inning.
Glasnow became the first pitcher in more than a century to strike out four hitters and allow four runs in the same inning, and the four runs were enough to tag him with a loss.
“The rhythm was all wrong,” Glasnow said of the first inning. “It just didn’t feel right.”
Fast forwarding to the fifth inning, Randy Arozarena would get the Rays on the board with a three-run home run to center field (445 feet). This cut Toronto’s lead to 4-3.
But then in the sixth inning, Randal Grichuk would hit a solo home run to center field (443 feet), making it a 5-3 ballgame.
Despite the win, the Jays need to do something about Bo Bichette’s defense at shortstop. Bichette was responsible for two of the three errors committed by the Jays on the night. Bichette now has six errors on the season.
Robbie Ray will get the ball for the Blue Jays on Saturday night, facing Brent Honeywell Jr. of the Rays. Honeywell has allowed one run on two hits and two walks while striking out two in 3.1 innings across his first two big-league appearances. In addition, left-hander Ryan Yarbrough is slated to make an appearance on Saturday
First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM EST.