On Friday night, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays will begin a three-game series at Rogers Centre. These two clubs might face one other in the first round of the playoffs. The Rays, who did not play on Thursday, have secured the A.L.’s first wild card place.
This weekend may be crucial for the Blue Jays (88-71), since they may secure the second wild card spot. If so, their first-round playoff series would be against the Rays (97-62) in a best-of-three set with all games being played in St. Petersburg, Florida.
With Thursday’s 6-0 win over the New York Yankees, Toronto got closer to securing a postseason berth.
Chris Bassitt threw 200 innings for the first time in his career and struck out 12 batters in 7 2/3 innings. Toronto’s Daulton Varsho and Matt Chapman each blasted solo home runs, and Brandon Belt hit a three-run homer.
On Friday, the Blue Jays will go with left-handed starter Yusei Kikuchi (10-6, 3.82 ERA). He is 4-1 with a 3.23 ERA in eight career games (7 starts) versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
Right-hander Aaron Civale will get the ball for the Rays in the opener. He has a 1-1 record and a 6.17 ERA in two career starts against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Rays’ season has been marred by injuries. Left fielder Randy Arozarena (quadriceps tightness) and first baseman Yandy Diaz (hamstring) also left last Friday’s game against Toronto, adding to the list.
Diaz plans to use his time in Toronto for two or three games before the playoffs. Diaz, who has battled many ailments this season, said he felt tightness in his leg before Sunday’s game and aggravated it when hitting a single in the first inning.
The Blue Jays decided to make some changes to their starting lineup. The lineup now features Belt at second base and Bo Bichette at fourth.
On Thursday, Belt went 1-for-4 after coming off the injured list this week, while Bichette went 2-for-4. Michael King and Gerrit Cole had demolished the Blue Jays in the opening two games of the series against the Yankees.
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Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays Game Information
- Date: 09/29/2023
- Time: 07:07 PM ET
- Location: Nationals Park.
- How to Watch Rays vs Blue Jays: MLB.TV
- Live Stream: MLB.TV