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Bichette’s late 2-run homer lifts Blue Jays over Rays – CBC Sports

Bo Bichette hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied past the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Monday in Toronto.

Bichette also had an RBI single for Toronto (79-61) hours after he was named the American League’s player of the week.

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Jose Berrios earned a quality start, allowing six hits but limiting the Rays to just two runs with four strikeouts.

Yimi Garcia, Tim Mayza (7-0), and closer Jordan Romano of Markham, Ont., came out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays. Romano earned his 33rd save of the season.

Jonathan Aranda drove in a run in the second inning for Tampa Bay (78-61).

Cooper Criswell struck out four and allowed one run on two hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings for the no decision. JT Chargois, Javy Guerra, Colin Poche and Jason Adam (2-3) came on in relief, with Adam taking the loss.

Those two teams are the Blue Jays’ nearest competition in the American League East. The win put Toronto ahead of the Rays for the top AL wild-card spot, with idle Baltimore six games back.

Aranda got Tampa on the board in the second inning, when his single bounced past a diving Cavan Biggio and into right field. That gave David Peralta more than enough time to run home from second base for a 1-0 lead.

Bichette tied it in the fourth when he singled to left field. George Springer, who had led off the inning with a walk, slid into home headfirst to beat Peralta’s throw from the outfield.

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Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk popped out in the next at bat but that ended Criswell’s night, bringing Chargois to the mound. Criswell had a perfect game going through three innings in his second-ever Major League Baseball start, until Springer reached base with his walk.

Margot helped the Rays re-establish a one-run lead in the sixth. He hit into a fielder’s choice with Peralta forced out at second base. That still gave Randy Arozarena enough time to score for a 2-1 Tampa lead.

With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on second base, Bichette came to the plate and worked the count to 2-1. He dropped to his knees when Guerra sent a 97.1 m.p.h. sinker high and inside, hitting the Blue Jays all-star shortstop and knocking his helmet off. Bichette angrily slammed his bat to the ground as the 23,002 at Rogers Centre booed but the umpires did not issue a warning to either team.

Berrios started the seventh inning by striking Rays leadoff batter Francisco Mejia in the hip with a 93.5 m.p.h. fastball. Fans booed as umpires conferred near home plate but Berrios was not ejected.

Bichette found another way to get revenge in the eighth inning. He sent a 3-2 pitch from Adam just over the wall in left field for Toronto’s first lead of the game. His 24th home run of the season also scored Raimel Tapia and made it 3-2.