Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette tags out Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena (56) as he gets caught attempting to steal second base during the sixth inning of Game 2 of an American League wild-card baseball series Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Game over: Toronto Blue Jays ousted from MLB playoffs after 8-2 loss to Rays

Tampa Bay sweeps wild-card matchup in two straight games

The Toronto Blue Jays’ brief playoff appearance came to an end in blowout fashion on Wednesday evening.

The Tampa Bay Rays scored seven runs on Blue Jays ace Hyun-Jin Ryu, chasing him in the second inning of an 8-2 rout at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer and Hunter Renfroe belted a grand slam as the Rays advanced by winning two straight games in the best-of-three series.

Danny Jansen was one of the few bright spots for the visitors with two solo homers.

Tampa Bay will play Cleveland or New York in the American League Division Series. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead into Game 2 on Wednesday night.

The Blue Jays benefitted from Major League Baseball’s expanded 2020 post-season structure by taking the eighth and final seed in the American League. The team’s young core made strides this season in order to qualify for the playoffs but were overmatched upon arrival.

Tampa Bay had control in a 3-1 Game 1 victory a day earlier despite managing just four hits. The Rays had four hits in the opening inning of Game 2 alone.

Ryu was out of sorts from the start. His fastball didn’t have its usual zip and his control was suspect.

The Rays took advantage with Manuel Margot driving in Randy Arozarena with an RBI single to open the scoring in the first inning. Ryu fanned Willy Adames with the bases loaded to limit the damage to one run.

Kevin Kiermaier led off the second with a single and scored when Zunino went deep on an 0-2 pitch. Ryu gave up a double and a two-out walk later in the frame and should have escaped when Margot hit a ground ball to Bo Bichette.

However the Toronto shortstop bobbled it for his second error of the game, leaving the bases loaded. Renfroe made the Blue Jays pay with a no-doubt grand slam.

READ MORE: Rays dump Jays 3-1 in MLB wild-card playoff series opener

That was more than enough cushion for Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow, who opened the game by striking out Cavan Biggio on three pitches. The hard-throwing right-hander needed just seven pitches to retire the side.

Glasnow struck out eight over six innings, giving up six hits, two earned runs and a walk. Ryu lasted 1 2/3 innings and allowed eight hits, three earned runs, four unearned runs and one walk while striking out two.

Toronto rookie Nate Pearson struck out five of the six batters he faced over two clean innings. The Rays outhit Toronto 12-7.

Tampa Bay entered Game 2 with a 7-4 edge in head-to-head matchups with Blue Jays this year although Toronto had outscored the Rays 49-47 overall.

Ryu had an extra day of rest after the Blue Jays gave Matt Shoemaker the surprise start in Game 1. Shoemaker and Robbie Ray were effective over six innings but the decision left Taijuan Walker – the team’s clear No. 2 starter – on the outside looking in.

Travis Shaw started at first base Wednesday while Alejandro Kirk, the Game 1 designated hitter, returned to the bench. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who misplayed a foul pop-up in the opener, handled DH duties.

Tampa Bay made it to the ALDS last year before being eliminated by the Houston Astros. The Blue Jays were last in the post-season in 2016.

The top-seeded Rays were 40-20 in the regular season. The Blue Jays were 32-28.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Blue JaysMLBToronto

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo by The Associated Press)
Alberta records 410 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

Sharon Hickin, general manager of the Days Inn Sylvan Lake and the new Lake House Diner, poses for a photo outside the new restaurant. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
Pandemic puts extra hurdles in place for new Sylvan Lake businesses

Over the past seven months numerous new businesses have opened in Sylvan Lake, despite the pandemic

Sylvan Lake Wranglers. File Photo
Sylvan Lake Wranglers ready for shorten hockey season

The HJHL will have a 20 game season, playing four games in a cohort and then going dark for 14 days

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read