Blue Jays overturn 8-2 deficit in improbable ninth-inning comeback
The Toronto Blue Jays rallied from 8-2 down in the bottom of the ninth inning to stun the Tampa Bay Rays 9-8 in a remarkable MLB comeback.
Tampa Bay entered the ninth inning with a six-run lead over the Blue Jays and all seemed right with the world on Thursday.
That was until Dwight Smith Jr. hit a pinch-hit double and moved up to third on an error by Mallex Smith, which marked the opening play of the joint-largest ninth-inning comeback in Blue Jays history.
What followed was seven runs on six hits with a hit by pitch and three home runs.
The Blue Jays managed to tally five extra-base hits in the ninth inning alone. Toronto totalled seven extra-base hits in their previous three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.
They finished the game homering in three of their last four at-bats.
The first was a three-run shot from Danny Jansen. The second came off the bat of rookie Lourdes Gurriel which scored two runs to tie the game at eight. Then Justin Smoak stepped to the plate and ignited the Rogers Centre like it was the 2015 American League Division Series.
This was the largest ninth-inning comeback in Blue Jays history but remains short of the all-time record (nine) which has stood for 117 years.
But the true story here is what happened to the Rays. Tampa Bay are now nine games back of the New York Yankees who lead the AL wildcard race and six-and-a-half games back of the Oakland Athletics who sit in second.
The Rays already had an uphill battle, but losing a game in which they had a six-run lead in the ninth could be the straw that broke the camel's back.