The Tampa Bay Rays had two runs against the Blue Jays last night, but it wasn’t enough. In game three tonight, the Rays will have another chance to clinch its third straight trip to the postseason.
Game two started with high hopes for the Rays. Brandon Lowe began with a single, and Ji-Man Choi made it to first base on a walk to put two runners on with nobody out. However, Alek Manoah struck out three hitters in a row to strand both runners.
In the second inning, the Rays had three walks and two hits for Manoah but only scored one run on a single by Lowe. Kevin Kiermaier had a double-play grounder that erased Manuel Margot‘s leadoff walk, and Yandy Díaz struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning. Manoah settled into pitch six innings, allowing only two runs.
Kevin Kiermaier is just showing off. pic.twitter.com/HlBb5p6rwP
— MLB (@MLB) September 21, 2021
Drew Rasmussen had another solid start last night, continuing his strong run since joining the rotation on August 12. Rasmussen held the Blue Jays to two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out three in another five-inning outing.
Rasmussen has recorded a 1.69 ERA with 21 strikeouts and six walks over 32 innings in his last seven starts. Additionally, Tuesday was just the second time the Rays have lost one of his outings since he became a member of the rotation.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 22, 2021
The Rays will instead send Luis Patiño to the mound for Wednesday’s series finale, beginning a day that they hope ends with them back in the postseason.
The Rays (93-59) still hold a six-game lead on Boston (87-65) and a 7½-game lead on Toronto (85-66) in the AL East. Tampa Bay’s magic number to clinch a second consecutive division title is five. Game three of the series will take place today at 3:10.