Fresh off the IL, Jansen and Hernandez deliver big as Jays snap 5 game skid

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Final Score: 5-1

ST. PETERSBURG -- Maybe all the Toronto Blue Jays needed was the bat of Danny Jansen. The catcher made his return to the lineup Sunday since suffering an oblique strain in the season-opening series in early April. Jansen finished the night an impressive 1-for-2 with a two-run bomb off of Ryan Thompson in the eighth. The shot was salt in the wound as the Jays would snap their five-game skid to take a commanding 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.


With George Springer ruled as day-to-day following his ankle sprain in Friday’s game and amid a struggling offense, skipper Charlie Montoyo opted to shake up the lineup ahead of Saturday’s contest. The move saw Matt Chapman head to the leadoff spot, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez moving up allowing Bo Bichette to slide into the cleanup spot.


Among some other changes was the return of Hyun Jin Ryu who made his first start since April 17th. The lefty delivered a strong showing on his return lasting 4 2/3 innings allowing Tampa’s lone run on four hits, while sitting down three. The Rays countered with Ryan Yarbrough who went 3 2/3 innings giving up just a single run on two hits.


The Jays found themselves in a position to capitalize early, loading the bases in the top of the first. They were able to salvage a single run as Santiago Espinal delivered a sacrifice fly to bring home Vladdy Jr. and with it, put the Jays on top 1-0. 


Tampa was quick to answer though as in the bottom of the frame Yandy Diaz took Ryu deep for a solo shot to even the tide. 


Teoscar Hernandez had yet to make a serious impact since his return from the IL, but that all changed in the top of the eighth as he crushed one deep to straight-away center field for a solo shot of his own to give the Jays the 2-1 edge. It was just the start of what would be a four-run inning for Toronto as shortly thereafter Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled to bring around Santiago Espinal, before Jansen delivered his two-run shot to give the Jays some late insurance. 


Ahead of the game Jansen was asked about his seemingly improved bat to start the season. “One of the things that I did in the off-season was find out who I really was (offensively) and then freedom came with that,” Jansen said. “Obviously it was tough after the start going on the IL for a while, but that freedom I had in the beginning of the season, in spring training, at the end of last year figuring out who I was really helped me mentally. I'm looking to pick up where I left off with that.”


The Rays were unable to battle back as Toronto found some much-needed life headed into their Sunday contest. 



Blue Jays: George Springer (ankle sprain) is listed as day-to-day and is expected to undergo further evaluation upon the team’s return to Toronto ahead of their Seattle series. 


Rays: No notable updates. 



The Jays will send Alek Manoah (4-0, 1.75 ERA) to the mound Sunday, as they’ll look to ride momentum, and close out the series with a win before heading home for a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners and reigning Cy Young winner with Toronto, Robbie Ray. Tampa Bay will counter with Jeffery Springs (1-1, 2.12 ERA) as first pitch flies Sunday afternoon at 1:40pm ET.