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HomeCanadian NewsBlue Jays wild card lead tightens after one other poor Berrios outing

Blue Jays wild card lead tightens after one other poor Berrios outing

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Comforted by the cushion that there’s an added wild card spot to water down qualifying requirements for the submit season, the magnitude of a four-game Blue Jays collection right here this weekend is diminished.

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However that’s to not say the conflict towards a staff the Jays might face within the playoffs is with out significance.

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The Jays are nicely conscious of the advantages of securing the highest wild card seed and an opening-round best-of-three performed completely on the Rogers Centre. And as we had been reminded as soon as once more in a horrific 10-5 loss to the Rays, they definitely need nothing to do with a return go to to Tropicana Area.

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However with losses in three of their earlier 4, a path to that prime spot amongst non-division winners is just not practically as clear because it was, including some chew to their remaining 12 video games.

The considerations, whereas not epic due to the brand new playoff format, are piling up for a Jays staff that has been suffering from inconsistencies by a lot of the 2022 season. With that in thoughts, Thursday’s loss was triggered by one other disastrous outing from starter Jose Berrios, who continues to be searching for a touch of dependable kind recreation over recreation.

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In permitting at the very least 5 earned runs for the eighth time this season, Berrios lasted simply two innings, permitting six earned runs on seven hits.

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It wasn’t his worst begin of the season, but it surely was up there.

And it was a poor begin that to what in some methods continues to be a essential collection for the Jays, who’re nonetheless clinging to the highest wild card seed they took into this collection.

With their win, the Rays moved to inside a recreation of their division rival within the wild card race, whereas the Seattle Mariners (possessors of an extremely tender schedule the remainder of the best way, are 1.5 again of Toronto.)

Injecting added significance to the remaining three video games of this collection, the Rays have a 9-7 document towards the Jays this season, giving them the sting within the first tie-breaking standards.

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The Jays arrived right here seeking to have an effect within the four-game set – – within the standings, in placing up a reputable effort towards a tough opponent and to determine extra dependable kind.

“The objective of each collection is to win it,” Jays supervisor John Schneider mentioned. “It looks like the whole lot is magnified with who we’re taking part in and the place we’re within the standings.

“Hopefully we will put some separation there.”

That objective will likely be tough and not using a sharper effort than what the staff has delivered over its previous two. Whereas definitely weary from what was basically an in a single day flight from Philly, the Jays didn’t have a lot combat towards the Rays after the second inning of a recreation performed earlier than a modest crowd of 8,799 on the Trop.

And Schneider wasn’t gratuitous in his assertion previous to the sport that with the AL East title all however out of attain, securing the highest WC slot is prime motivation for the remaining 13 video games.

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“Dwelling area could be nice,” Schneider mentioned. “There could be nothing higher than to play in entrance of our followers within the submit season after the final couple of years, whether or not we haven’t been there or what the world and nation has been by.”

Although the strain of securing a spot is minimal, there may be nonetheless loads to play for, then.

The Jays definitely need to be taking part in extra constantly.

Apart from taking part in in entrance of a house crowd, there may be added enchantment when it comes to a looming rigorous itinerary. If the Jays end in second, they’d end the common season with three video games in Baltimore after which head to Seattle or Tampa (the 2 most probably locations.) Ought to they win the best-of-three, it might be off to Houston for the divisional spherical.

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It was a battle from the outset for Berrios, who solely has two extra assured begins to form as much as post-season kind. He wanted 31 pitches to get by the primary and added 43 within the second … The truth is, Berrios, Trevor Richards and Zach Pop mixed to hurl 120 pitches by the primary 4 … The Jays had been truly tied at 3-3 heading to the underside half of the second, helped by second-inning solo homers from Teoscar Hernandez and Whit Merrifield, who added a two-run shot within the ninth. It was Merrifield’s third profession multi-home run recreation and first since 2019 … The Jays have surrendered 10 or extra runs in three of their previous seven video games.

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