Blue Jays put up 20 runs against MLB-best Rays, including Vlad Guerrero Jr. grand slam off position player
The Toronto Blue Jays took a week’s worth of frustration out on the first place Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. Toronto entered the game having lost their last five and seven of their last nine games (and making sloppy mistakes along the way), and then broke out with a 20-1 win at Tropicana Field (box score). Yes, 20-1.
Every player in Toronto’s starting lineup had multiple hits and their 1-2-3 hitters — George Springer, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — went a combined 10 for 16 with a triple and two home runs. One of those two homers was a Vlad Jr. grand slam against position player Luke Raley. To the action footage:
Raley, it should be noted, struck out Guerrero with a 50 mph lob in the previous inning. Vlad Jr. was grinning throughout the at-bat and clearly swinging for the fences. Raley was one of two Rays position players to pitch Tuesday. He and Christian Bethancourt combined to allow 10 runs in the final two innings.
The Blue Jays are the first team to score 20 runs in a game this season, and the first to do it since the Houston Astros beat the Chicago White Sox 21-5 last August 18. Here are a few more nuggets on Toronto’s blowout win:
- The 19-run margin of victory is the most lopsided loss in Rays franchise history. The previous record was a 22-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox way back in 2002, when they were still the Devil Rays.
- The Blue Jays entering the game having scored 19 runs in their previous five games combined. It is the first time Toronto scored 20 runs in a game since last year’s 28-5 beatdown at Fenway Park.
- The loss knocked the Rays out of the run differential lead. They went from plus-126 to plus-107, and are now second behind the Texas Rangers and their plus 111-run differential.
Fortunately, it only counts as one loss, and the Rays still have baseball’s best record at 35-15. The Blue Jays are in last place in the AL East at 26-23. They would be in first place in the AL Central, and in second place in the NL East and NL Central.