ST. SAINT PETERSBURG, Florida – Alec Manoa played seven lockout innings Whit Merrifield hit a three-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays regained the top spot in the AL by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Saturday night.
The Blue Jays are one game ahead of Tampa Bay. The top wild card player will play all games in his best-of-three series in the first round, while the other two wild cards will play strictly on the road.
Manoa (15-7) threw four hits, walked two and scored eight, throwing a season-high 113 assists. The right-hander dealt with a two-on-one jam in the sixth by hitting Randy Arozarena and getting a popup from David Peralta.
Jordan Romano replaced Maiza Team with two outs and two outs in the eighth and a hitter allowed Harold Ramirezsingle infield RBI but avoided further damage by hitting Manuel Margot. Romano finished the game with his 35th save at 41 chances.
Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen (10-7) gave up one try, three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five.
The teams played 31 rounds together, 20 of which went to the Race, in the first two games of the series, both of which were won by Tampa Bay.
Arozarena got the Rays’ first hit from Manoa with a double take in the fourth. He became the first Tampa Bay player and 20th major league player to have 40 doubles, 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season.
Merrifield Homered twice in Thursday night’s 10-5 loss to the Rays.
Alejandro Kirk opened a second single before Rasmussen retired 12 in a row until Merrifield doubled the lead in sixth.
Plate umpire Cory Blazer took Margot’s hard ball with a mask foul in the eighth round but remained in the game.
The Rays thanked on the notice board for CF Kevin Kiermeier, who was out for the season due to surgery on his left hip. Kiermeier has the final season of a six-year, $53.5 million contract that includes an option for 2023 that is expected to be waived.
Rays ace Shane McClanahan was recognized as the recipient of the Don Zimmer MVP award by members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the American Baseball Writers Association. CF Joseph Siri was selected as an outstanding newcomer. 3B Yandy Diaz received the Paul C. Smith Champions award for the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.
Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (wide warp) allowed three runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Buffalo.
Beams: 2B Brandon Low (lower back) is done according to the season.
McClanahan (12-6), pulled off Tuesday’s fifth inning start with a neck strain, will play the RHP Blue Jays. Ross Stripling (8-4) on Sunday.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will “forever be known as the upset kings of October” for their incredible victory in the 2021 World Series as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.
Biden called the Braves race “unstoppable and joyful.” The team visited the White House just over a week before the end of the 2022 regular season and the resumption of the Major League Baseball playoffs. The Braves are 1.5 games behind the New York Mets in the National League Eastern but have secured a spot in the MLB playoffs starting October 7th. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk expressed his hope that they would return to the White House again soon. .
In August 2021, the Braves were in disarray, playing at barely .500. But then they started winning. And they continued like that, winning the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.
Biden called their performance “the greatest turn in history.”
“This team has literally been a part of American history for over 150 years,” Biden said. “But none of it came easy… people considered you. Hell, I know a thing or two about being left out.
The players lined up on stands behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most talked about was a player who hadn’t been on the team for nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.
Hammerin Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a lefthand blow on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players in Atlanta and baseball history, a keen chronicler of hardships. was thrown along the way, from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced while chasing one of America’s most sacred records. He died in January at the age of 86.
“This team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.
McGuirk said that Aaron, who held positions at the team’s headquarters and was one of the few black leaders in Major League Baseball, was watching them.
“If he were here, he would be with us every step of the way,” McGuirk added.
The president often honors major league champions and some college athletic champions with a ceremony at the White House, usually a non-partisan one, in which the commander-in-chief pays homage to the prowess of the champions, poses for photographs, and leaves with the team jersey.
These visits were highly valued by the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric regarding police, immigration, and more. Trump, for his part, did not like criticism from athletes or their expression of political views on the field.
Under Biden, the tradition seems to have returned. He hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday, he joked about First Lady Jill Biden’s affections for Philadelphia.
“Like every Philadelphia fan, she is convinced that she knows more about everything in sports than anyone else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too kind to the Atlanta team because they had beaten the Phillies in extra innings the night before.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later asked about the team’s name, especially as other professional sports teams dropped names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians and Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – after years of complaints from Native. American groups over images and symbols.
She said it was important for the country to have a conversation. “And the voices of Native Americans and First Nations—they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.
Biden backed MLB’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics say is too restrictive.