It was another night of explosive offense for the Blue Jays, who pounced all over Angels starter Andrew Heaney and then kept right on rolling through the Anaheim bullpen Saturday night in a 15-3 victory.
Josh Donaldson picked up his 34th home run, 33rd double, and drove in six runs to push his RBI total to 100. The 29-year-old third baseman really is making a charge at Mike Trout for American League MVP.
Toronto is still a half-game behind the Yankees, who got a very good start from rookie Luis Severino on Saturday night to beat the Indians, but there’s no reason to think this Blue Jays attack is going to let up over the next five weeks. Jose Bautista had a two-run triple on Saturday as part of a 3-for-5 showing. Chris Colabello also finished 3-for-5 with two RBI. Edwin Encarnacion drove in three.
Ben Revere even got in on the act with a 2-for-4 and three runs scored.
Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …
Indians 2, Yankees 6
Braves 7, Cubs 9
Giants 2, Pirates 3
Twins 3, Orioles 2
Brewers 1, Nationals 6
Rangers 5, Tigers 3
Royals 6, Red Sox 3
Diamondbacks 11, Reds 7
Dodgers 1, Astros 3
Phillies 4, Marlins 2
Mets 14, Rockies 9
Cardinals 0, Padres 8
Blue Jays 15, Angels 3
Rays 5, Athletics 4
White Sox 6, Mariners 3 (10 innings)
LAS VEGAS — Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg appeared at the Winter Meetings a few minutes ago and said that the project which was intended to result in a new ballpark for the team in Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa has fallen apart. No new ballpark will be built and the three-year window granted to the team by the City of St. Petersburg to negotiate for a new ballpark will come to a close without any deal. The Tampa Bay Rays appear to be stuck in Tropicana Field through 2027.
Sternberg’s statement came mere hours after it was reported that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred sent a sternly-worded letter to Hillsborough County officials, blasting the framework for the deal for the new stadium in Ybor City, saying it lacked specifics and criticized “the actual level commitment” from the public side. It’s not unreasonable to read that as the Commissioner’s dissatisfaction with how much public money the County was pledging to complete the project.
In his comments this morning Sternberg noted that the Rays had worked “for ten years” to get a new stadium and that they’d continue to try to work to that end, but the team’s options are extremely limited. The Rays are party to what has been described as an iron-clad lease for Tropicana Field, lasting through 2027. Until three years ago the Rays were prohibited from even talking to anyone about building a new ballpark outside of St. Petersburg. In December 2015 St. Pete granted the team a window to negotiate with Hillsborough County which Sternberg called “very generous.” It is now closing, however, and Sternberg said that there are no plans to ask St. Petersburg officials for a new one.
Which means that the Rays are likely stuck in Tropicana Field through 2027. While Sternberg talked of being creative and searching for any and all available options, he likewise said that “we need to figure out where the 2028 season will be played.”