2nd baseman collects 4 hits, including go-ahead RBI single; plays solid defense
By Alykhan Ravjiani
TORONTO -- In only his second Major League season, Devon Travis has shown a knack for delivering the big hit with the game on the line, and he came through once again in the Blue Jays' 7-5 victory over the Rays on Monday.
Toronto's starting second baseman stepped into the box with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the seventh of a tie game, already with three hits on the evening. Despite falling into a 1-2 count against Rays righty Dylan Floro, Travis battled and hit a 94-mph sinker straight up the middle, driving in the go-ahead run to catapult the decisive three-run inning.
"You know what, I took the first pitch to just see what the guy was doing," Travis said. "It looked like it had pretty good sink on it, and it was pretty firm, too. Those were two pretty good pitches to start the at-bat and the last pitch he made was pretty good, too.
"Thankfully, I was able to fight it off and get it up the middle and extend that inning for [Jose Bautista]. That was really the big hit of the inning, putting up those extra two runs."
Travis eclipsed a pair of milestones on the night. The 25-year-old's four-hit game was the first of his career, and he also recorded his first career triple to lead off the game for Toronto. The youngster has provided instant offence at the top of the Blue Jays' order, with 12 hits in his last 22 at-bats, and recording 11 multi-hit games over his last 20 contests.
"This is what it's all about," said Travis, who missed the second half of last season and the Blue Jays' playoff run with a left shoulder injury.
Not to be overlooked, Travis also showed off his fielding prowess in the top of the sixth inning, throwing out Steven Souza Jr. at third base after the Rays outfielder tried to advance to third on a ground ball hit by Tim Beckham. The play cut down the potential go-ahead run at the time, setting the stage for the seventh-inning theatrics.
"He hit it hard and I've never done that play before," Travis said. "I had seen it done -- [Jose] Altuve did it in Houston -- and I thought it was pretty cool. I looked up and saw he was taking off to third base and [Josh] Donaldson was ready for it. Thankfully, it worked out for us."
"A lot of players don't want to throw that ball," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons added.
"We've seen that before a few times this year, but it's a huge play if you can pull it off. A lot of times you have to get the right kind of runner and the right kind of ball hit to you. Not only has Devon been hitting, but he's been playing great defense. He's really gaining confidence."
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.