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)

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

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Janice and Martin Green are grateful for their town’s community paramedicine program. (Photo courtesy of Janice Green)
Community paramedicine program a lifesaver in Tofino-Ucluelet

“It makes us feel more comfortable here knowing that we do have emergency services that kick in.”

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
POLL QUESTION: Would you like to see stricter enforcement towards illegal camping?

Would you like to see stricter enforcement towards illegal camping? READ MORE:… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Most Read