Blue Jays Pannone Puts Rays Bats To Sleep

TORONTO--  On Saturday afternoon, Tampa Bay got a quality start from Tyler Glasnow but was unable to solve Toronto starter rookie Thomas Pannone & the Blue Jays beat the Rays 5-2.  Pannone, who entered the game with an ERA under three in his last two starts, won his third straight start & was able to keep the Rays off-balance most of the afternoon.

Glasnow entered the game having made 9 starts with the team.  And in five of those starts, he allowed one or no runs.  But in his previous start against the Blue Jays this month, Glasnow allowed seven runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Both Glasnow & Blue Jays starter Thomas Pannone kept each team’s bats quiet through the first two innings.  But in the top of the third with two outs, Rays left-fielder Tommy Pham, who had triples in each of the first 2 games of the series, hammered a Pannone pitch over the wall in left, to give Tampa Bay the first run of the game.

That 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay lasted until the bottom of the fourth.  The inning started with Glasnow walking first baseman Justin Smoak.   And after Glasnow struck out outfielder Randal Grichuk, Blue Jays designated hitter Rowdy Tellez turned on a fastball & hit it deep into the seat in rightfield, giving Toronto the one run lead.  And before Glasnow could get the final out of the inning, Toronto added another run when catcher Reese McGuire drove in centerfielder Kevin Pillar, making the score 3-1.

After allowing the two out home run to Pham & throwing 30 pitches in the top of the third, Pannone threw back to back 1-2-3 innings.  And in the sixth after allowing a leadoff single to Rays first baseman C.J. Cron, the Blue Jays lefty faced the minimum again after getting Rays shortstop Willy Adames to hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.  In the fourth, fifth & sixth inning, Pannone threw a combined 27 pitches in facing just 9 batters.

The Rays were not able to piece together any threats against Pannone in the middle innings but in the seven they were able to get within a run when an unlikely source went deep. With two outs & no one on, Rays catcher Jesus Sucre, who hadn’t homered in 179 at bats, hit a breaking pitch over the wall in leftfield, cutting the Blue Jays lead in half.

One batter after allowing the solo home run by Sucre, Pannone was pulled & replaced by reliever Ryan Tepera.  Tepera walked one batter but with two men on, he was able to strike out Rays third baseman Matt Duffy to end the inning.

Tamp Bay used two pitchers in the bottom of the seventh to keep the Blue Jays from increasing their 3-2 lead.  But in the bottom of the eighth, Toronto added two insurance runs off Rays reliever Jose Alvarado, one coming in on a run scoring double by Tellez & the other when a single by third baseman Aledmys Diaz drove in the final run.

On Sunday the Rays look to salvage their last road game of the season when lefty Blake Snell (20-5 1.97) faces Blue Jays lefty Ryan Borucki (4-4 3.86). Snell, who will look to win a franchise-record 21st game, enters the game having won his past eight starts with 63 strikeouts over his last 46 innings.  Coverage begins on 620 WDAE at noon with Steve Carney & The Inside Pitch.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:05PM.

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