Sep 26, 2015 6:29 PM
Bautista homers twice, Jays beat Rays 10-8
The Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) It was supposed to be a small toast, an acknowledgement that they had secured a wild-card berth.
Instead, the Toronto Blue Jays washed away 22 years of frustration in a deluge of champagne and beer in a raucous celebration.
"(Edwin Encarnacion) wanted to go for it, so we did," pitcher R.A. Dickey said, music blaring in the background and cigar smoke wafting around him in a joyous clubhouse.
Jose Bautista hit two home runs, David Price won for the ninth time in 11 starts with Toronto and the playoff-bound Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-8 on Saturday.
"I don't know where they were hiding the champagne but somebody went and got it and it got a little crazy," said Bautista, wearing goggles and an alcohol-soaked T-shirt that read "Take October."
The AL East-leading Blue Jays hope there'll be more partying ahead.
"We expect to have another one of these when we win the division," Bautista said. "That's our goal."
The Blue Jays actually punched their ticket to the postseason on Friday after beating the Rays and seeing Minnesota fall 6-4 at Detroit. Toronto wrapped up at least a wild card based on their main competitors' overlapping schedules. They're heading to the playoffs for the first time since 1993.
"The fact that we know we're going to be in the postseason, it means a lot," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "We want to win the division. Beyond that, it's just a great moment. It's great to see these guys excited."
On Saturday, an anticipated pitcher's duel between Rays right-hander Chris Archer and Price, his former teammate and mentor, turned into a sloppy slugfest. Toronto's three errors matched a season high.
"When you look at their body of work over the course of the year, they don't have many games like this," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I don't think anybody would have thought there were going to be 18 runs scored in a game that featured Archer and Price."
Bautista hit a three-run homer and Russell Martin added a two-run drive in a five-run first inning.
Bautista made it 10-5 with a solo shot off Kirby Yates in the eighth. It was the fifth multihomer game of the season for Bautista, whose homers were his 38th and 39th.
Kevin Pillar and Ben Revere each had three hits as the Blue Jays won for the sixth time in their past eight meetings with the Rays.
Price (18-5) allowed five runs four earned in five innings. It was the most runs the left-hander had allowed since giving up five in a July 28 loss to the Rays, his final start with Detroit before being traded to Toronto.
"My last two starts against these guys haven't gone the way I wanted them to," Price said. "If I'm going to give up five, I want it to be on a day where we score 10, so that was good."
Despite the difficult outing, Price maintained his AL ERA lead at 2.45.
The Blue Jays wasted no time jumping on Archer, who came in 3-1 with a 0.93 ERA in four starts against Toronto this season. Revere led off with a single, Josh Donaldson walked and Bautista followed with a drive that just cleared the left field wall.
Three batters later, Martin made it 5-0 with a two-run shot, his career-best 22nd.
A fielding error by Darwin Barney and back-to-back RBI singles by pinch-hitters Grady Sizemore and John Jaso cut it to 10-8 in the ninth, but Roberto Osuna got the final two outs for his 19th save, finishing it off by getting Evan Longoria to ground into a fielder's choice.
Pitching on his 27th birthday, Archer (12-13) matched a season high by giving up nine runs in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since a May 7 loss to Texas. He also matched a season high by walking five, the second straight start he's walked that many. Archer has lost his past three decisions.
"It wasn't my day by any means," Archer said.
HUG IT OUT
While running on the warning track before the game, Price and Archer shared a warm embrace in center field.
Rays: Longoria started at DH, with Richie Shaffer at 3B. ... LHP Jake McGee (left knee) was activated off the 15-day DL. McGee has been out since Aug. 18.
Rays: RHP Matt Andriese (3-5, 4.37 ERA) makes his first big league start since July 7. Andriese allowed three homers in 5 1-3 innings in a home loss to Toronto on June 22.
Blue Jays: LHP Mark Buehrle (14-7, 3.69 ERA) will have had six days of rest since his previous start, Sept. 20 against Boston. Buehrle had a cortisone shot in his sore shoulder earlier this month.