Strong August Finish Crucial to Jays Success

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CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 20: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays scores a run during the tenth inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 20, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

After losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Sunday afternoon, the Toronto Blue Jays failed to avoid a series sweep and saw their record fall to 59-65, putting them one game back of Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Cubs scored three runs in the bottom of the tenth inning to win 6-5, capped off by an Alex Avila single with the bases loaded that scored Ben Zobrist and Javier Baez. The Jays now have 10 games left in the month of August, and each and every one of those games will be extremely important, as the Jays look to climb up the American League Wild Card standings. Let’s take a look at who’s coming up on the Blue Jays schedule over the next 10 days.

The Challengers

Tampa Bay

The Rays are 61-65 heading into Tuesday’s series opener against the Jays in Tampa. The Rays are 2-8 in their last 10 games and are sliding out of the AL Wild Card race. Ace Chris Archer will face off against Chris Rowley on Tuesday, with Austin Pruitt and Alex Cobb taking the mound for the following two games. Archer’s last start was Thursday against the Jays, when he gave up five hits and three earned runs over seven innings in a 5-3 loss. The Jays will send Marcus Stroman to the mound on Wednesday, with J.A. Happ taking over on Thursday.

Minnesota Twins

The Blue Jays will leave Florida and head home to face the Twins after their series against the Rays. The 63-59 Twins sit five games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central and are tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the last Wild Card spot. The Twins have won 11 of their last 15 games and just swept the Arizona Diamondbacks, scoring 27 runs in three games. They will head to Chicago for a four game series against the lowly White Sox before going to Toronto, so it’s safe to say that the Twins will head to Toronto full of confidence.

Boston Red Sox

The AL East-leading Red Sox now have a five game cushion over the New York Yankees after taking two of three games at home against them. The Sox have won seven of their last 10 games and have scored 32 runs in that time span.The Jays will host the Red Sox from August 28-30 at the Rogers Centre, and this series will present a major obstacle for the Jays, who split a four game series with the Red Sox in July.

Baltimore Orioles

The Jays will kick off a series in Baltimore against the Orioles on the last day of August. The 60-64 Orioles have lost their last four series’ and are 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Jays will face off against the Orioles again from September 11-13 at the Rogers Centre.

Blue Jays Schedule Presents Tough Challenge

The Blue Jays will kick off their series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field in Tampa. With only 38 regular season games left, the Jays need to start a hot streak in order to keep pace in the American League Wild Card race. This portion of the Blue Jays schedule could make or break their playoff hopes.

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