Toronto Blue Jays’ George Springer shines on offense. Toronto took another step toward fall baseball.
Springer went 1-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs, one run scored and two walks in the leadoff spot in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays at Propicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Friday.
Springer struck out in his first at-bat, but came out swinging in his next two at-bats. Trailing 2-0 in the top of the first, Toronto had chances in the bottom of the inning as Alejandro Kirk walked, Dolton Bashaw doubled and Whit Merrifield tied the game with an RBI single. Kevin Kiermaier then singled to put runners on second and third.
Springer came to the plate. Springer hit a two-pitch changeup from Ty Bradley that was up and away. Springer flied out to the left-center field fence. Center fielder Manuel Margot jumped to catch the ball, but couldn’t, and it hit the fence and rolled down the middle of the walkway.
Merrifield and Kiermeyer had reached base by then, and Springer sprinted to the plate and touched home plate on a head-first slide. It was his 21st inside-the-park home run of the season.
Springer also made a nice play defensively in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and one out, Curtis Mead took Yusei Kikuchi’s first-pitch fastball and lined it to the right field fence. Mead sprinted to second base, but Springer made a perfect pen-play to catch the ball and throw to second to end the inning.
Isaac Paredes then came to the plate. Paredes pushed a four-pitch four-seam fastball from Kikuchi. The ball sailed into right field, where Springer leaped to catch it and throw it home. Third baseman Harold Ramirez did not attempt to tag up. Two good defensive plays by Springer kept Toronto off the board.
But Toronto answered with an RBI triple by Basho in the top of the eighth and a back-to-back home run by Beau Bisset and Guerrero in the top of the ninth.
After the game, Toronto manager John Schneider said of Springer’s performance, “He had an inside-the-park home run and two good plays in right field. He got the ball up the middle and caught the ball down the right field line.”메이저사이트 “He controlled the game for about 25 minutes,” he said.
Tampa Bay got on the board in the bottom of the fourth on Tyler Walls’ RBI single. Toronto responded in the top of the sixth with a run-scoring single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. In the bottom of the seventh, Tampa Bay closed the gap to 5-6 on a two-run homer by Paredes.
“We’re doing what we need to do,” Springer said. “People are looking at what it takes to win in September. It’s not always about the stats.”
Toronto recorded a sweep in the three-game series against Tampa Bay. They are 87-69 and in the second wild-card spot. They are two games behind the third-place Houston Astros (85-71) and 2.5 games behind the fourth-place Seattle Mariners (84-71). According to FanGraphs, Toronto has a 98.4% chance of making the wild card.
Toronto swept a three-game series at home against the Boston Red Sox before finishing a six-game road trip with a 2-1 win over the New York Yankees and a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay. “It was a great road trip,” Schneider said. “After the home sweep, we ran into two really strong teams. The guys did a great job. I like the way they’re playing – offense, defense, pitching.”