2024 Sunburst Awards: Toronto Blue Jays games 1-4

Baseball is Back! And we are introducing a series recap handing out Sunburst Awards.

“Sunburst Awards” is a series-by-series evaluation of player performance, where four different awards are given out after each series: Offensive player of the series, defensive player of the series, pitcher of the series, and highlight play of the series. This pilot edition will be covering the opening series of the season, where the Tampa Bay Rays took on the Toronto Blue Jays from March 28 through March 31st, a four game series in Tropicana Field.

Baseball is finally upon us again! After six months of the frigid Tampa Bay winter, a new season is here. Hope and expectation fill the air as the Rays look to continue their successes into the newly born 2024 season.

This year its the AL East rival up north, the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the Rays at Tropicana Field for a four game series on opening weekend.

Game 1: Blue Jays – 8, Rays – 2 (recap)

Game 2: Blue Jays – 2, Rays – 8 (recap)

Game 3: Blue Jays – 1, Rays – 5 (recap)

Game 4: Blue Jays – 9, Rays – 2 (recap)

Offensive Sunburst Award: Yandy Diaz

Diaz started the season better than any player possibly could from a hitting standpoint, with his first at bat sending a ball over the “162 Landing” in left field for a home run in game one of the series. Diaz propelled this hot start to an all around good series.

The reigning AL Batting Champion had five hits, five RBIs, two walks, and three runs to go with his home run in this series, winning himself the inaugural Offensive Sunburst Award.

Defensive Sunburst Award: Richie Palacios

Palacios made his Rays debut in this series, and shined in the outfield. The young right fielder recorded five putouts on five chances, but what won him this edition’s Sunburst award was his incredible play made in foul territory in game two of the series.

In the top of the fourth inning with a man on first and one out, a ball came off the bat of Alejandro Kirk in foul territory and looked to be a routine foul ball. However, Palacios went sprinting towards the ball and made an impressive sliding catch to record the out and kill any momentum the Jays had in that inning.

Pitching Sunburst Award: Zack Littell

Littell is the winner of our inaugural pitching Sunburst Award, pitching six scoreless innings in game three of the series in a 5-1 win. The 28-year-old right hander threw six strikeouts in the game, while only allowing four hits and two walks.

Highlight Sunburst Award: Brandon Lowe

Lowe is our first ever highlight Sunburst winner with his grand slam in game two of the series.

In the bottom of the third, with the bases loaded, Lowe connected on a 91 mph cutter sending it over the wall in left center for a towering home run to give the Rays a 4-1 lead entering the fourth inning.

The bomb was Lowe’s fourth career grand slam, as he helped lead the Rays to an 8-2 victory to nod the series up one win a piece.


While Rays fans may have been disappointed with just a series split to start the year (especially considering their hot start last season), there were still some shining moments for some of the players this week in the trop.

The Rays will stay in Tropicana Field for their next series, taking on the defending champ Texas Rangers for a three game set Monday through Wednesday. First pitch is 6:50!

Go to Source
Title: 2024 Sunburst Awards: Toronto Blue Jays games 1-4
Author: Drew Johnson

You May Also Like