09/22 17:45 CDT Kiermaier hit, apparent retribution, as Rays clinch playoffs
Kiermaier hit, apparent retribution, as Rays clinch playoffs
By MARK DIDTLER
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) --- Kevin Kiermaier was hit by a pitch, apparent
retribution for scooping up a Toronto scouting report two days earlier, and the
Tampa Bay Rays clinched a postseason berth with a 7-1 victory over the Blue
Jays on Wednesday.
Reliever Ryan Borucki hit Kiermaier on the back with his first pitch of the
eighth inning, when the Rays led 7-1.
Borucki was ejected after the umpires met, which prompted Blue Jays manager
Charlie Montoyo and enraged pitching coach Pete Walker to storm out of the
dugout to argue as played spilled onto the field, Walker also was tossed and
there were no incidents between the players.
On Monday, Kiermaier picked up a scouting card that fell off the wristband of
Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk during a play at the plate and refused to give
it back. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash apologized to the Blue Jays organization
Tuesday and Montoyo said the matter was "agau under the bridge."
Austin Meadows hit a three-run homer during a six-run third inning for the AL
East-leading Rays (94-59). The postseason berth is the third in a row and
seventh since 2008 for the defending AL champions, who lost the World Series to
the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games last year.
Toronto (85-67) dropped into a tie for the second AL wild-card berth with the
New York Yankees, who played later Wednesday. The Blue Jays lost two of three
to Tampa Bay and are 16-5 in September.
Six Tampa Bay pitchers combined on a four-hitter. JT Chargois (6-1) struck out
two during a hitless fourth.
Luis Patio allowed a first-inning single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. over three
innings, working out of bases-loaded two-out jam in the opening frame.
Guerrero got the Blue Jays' second hit with a sixth-inning double off Adam
Conley and scored when Teoscar Hernndez picked up his 109th RBI on a sacrifice
fly. Guerrero also walked and has been on-base an AL-best 270 timeswith 51
The Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the third against Ross Stripling
(5-7) before Yandy Daz had a sacrifice fly and Meadows followed with his 26th
homer. Taylor Walls added a two-run single that made it 6-0. Meadows has 103
Daz hit a fourth-inning RBI single.
The Blue Jays close out the road portion of their regular season with four
games at Minnesota, last in the AL Central, starting Thursday night. Then
Toronto plays three with the Yankees and three against Baltimore, the team with
the AL's worst record, at home to wrap things up.
The Red Sox and Yankees open a three-set Friday night in Boston. After the
Toronto series, New York returns home for three with the Rays. Boston closes
out the regular season with three-game road series at both Baltimore and
Blue Jays: INF Breyvic Valera went on the COVID-19 related IL for contact
tracing after a family member tested positive. Manager Charlie Montoyo said
Valera has tested negative. ... INF Santiago Espinal (right hip flexor strain)
could be back this weekend.
Rays: DH Nelson Cruz (illness) was out of the lineup for the second straight
game. ... Reliever Andrew Kittredge (neck tightness) had a long toss session
and threw at 60 feet on level ground.
Blue Jays: LHP Steven Matz (13-7) will face Minnesota RHP Michael Pineda (7-8)
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