Marcus Semien’s three-run homer highlighted Toronto’s four-run first inning Friday night as the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Randal Grichuk also homered as the Blue Jays won for the second time in their last three games despite committing three infield errors.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled in the first to extend his perfect mark of reaching base in all of Toronto’s 19 games — the only player in the majors to do so for his club.
Starter Steven Matz (4-0) won his fourth straight start to open 2021 by hurling five innings of three-run ball. The left-hander allowed five hits and two walks while fanning seven.
Randy Arozarena was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer as the Rays lost their second straight after an impressive 5-1 road trip.
Tyler Glasnow (2-1) struck out 10 and walked two over six innings, but of the five hits he allowed, two were the first homers against him and produced four of the five runs.
Toronto took a 1-0 lead in a bizarre first inning when Rowdy Tellez roped his first double of the season to score Guerrero. Semien, who went 2-for-4, soon launched a 2-1 fastball to left-center for a three-run shot, his fifth.
Glasnow finally got out of the 37-pitch frame by striking out ninth-place hitter Danny Jansen — the right-hander’s fourth whiff after an earlier strikeout-and-wild pitch of Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
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Glasnow became the second pitcher to allow four runs and strike out four batters in the same inning.
According to STATS, Doc White of the Philadelphia Phillies turned the feat on July 21, 1902, against the Brooklyn Superbas.
Matz pitched out of trouble in the fourth after shortstop Bo Bichette (fielding) and Joe Panik (throwing) made consecutive errors with two outs and none on by getting Willy Adames on a long flyout to center.
After making a spectacular diving catch on a ball that center fielder Kevin Kiermaier lost against the background of the domed roof to close the top of the fifth, Arozarena rocketed a three-run shot off Matz — estimated at 445 feet by Statcast. The shot cut the deficit to 4-3.
In Glasnow’s final inning, Grichuk knocked a solo homer — his third — to push the lead to 5-3 in the sixth.
Toronto relievers Tyler Chatwood, David Phelps, Tim Mayza and Rafael Dolis (first save) combined for four scoreless innings without a Rays hit to lock down the win.
–Field Level Media