After dropping the first two games of the season against the Baltimore Orioles, the Toronto Blue Jays grabbed an early lead to beat the Tampa Bay Rays.
Thoughts and Observations
- Kendry Morales hit a grand slam in the third inning to give the Leafs a 4-0 lead. It was his first home run with the Toronto Blue Jays and it was launched way back in the stands.
- Marcus Stroman continues to build off the strong spring training he had, going 6.1 innings, allowing one earned run on six hits, walking two batters and collected five strikeouts. His sinker gave the Rays a hard time as he was dominant early in the game, with four straight strikeouts.
- The Blue Jays held the Rays to 1-9 with runners in scoring position.
- Jason Grilli earned his first save of the season with two strikeouts to end the game.
- Darwin Barney had two hits, laid down a sacrifice bunt and walked once as he gave Devon Travis the day off. It looks like the Blue Jays want Travis to get some rest for his knee.
- Steve Pearce got the start in the leadoff spot in the lineup, but he went hitless with two strikeouts.
Stat of the Night
- Stroman earned the 300th strikeout of his career. Although he is mainly a ground ball pitcher it is still an impressive milestone for the Duke University graduate.
- The Attendance at Tropicana Field was 12,678, which is not a surprising number in Tampa Bay for a home game.
- Joe Biagini continues his strong start to the season, going 1.2 innings and allowing one hit but nothing else.
- The Blue Jays play the next three games in Tampa Bay, before their home opener on Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Francisco Liriano will get the start on Friday night, against Matt Andriese. Liriano was impressive during spring training, where he went 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts in 18 innings. He allowing four earned runs and walked six batters, but added an impressive 29 strikeouts.
- Aaron Sanchez and Chris Archer will take the mound on Saturday, setting up for a strong pitching duel between two of the greatest young pitchers in the game.
What were your takeaways from the Blue Jays earning their first win of the season? How many games do you think they will take in this series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.