Despite the continued dominance of Ricky Romero by Johnny Damon, the Rays came up short Monday in their last of four games against the Blue Jays. Tampa fell to Toronto 7-3 as they failed in their bid to pick up a series sweep against the Jays.
Things looked good in the first inning, when Tampa took the lead on the first of Damon’s two home runs. They had a chance to extend the lead in the third after an Evan Longoria triple. Ben Zobrist chopped one back to the pitcher and Romero caught Longoria cheating off third and got him out in a rundown. Zobrist was able to get to second and later third when Casey Kotchman reached base on an error. With two outs B.J. Upton grounded out to third and the inning was over. That turn of events, in a sense, let the Jays off the hook, and gave a team that has been reeling the last few days, some life.
In Toronto’s half of the third they got to Wade Davis. The Jays were scoreless in the first two innings, but not because of how well Davis was pitching. Through two innings he had thrown more balls than strikes. He gave up three runs in the third, another two runs in the fourth and a run in the fifth before leaving the game. Damon hit a solo shot in the fifth inning to bring the Rays within two, but it wasn’t enough. The Jays tacked on a run each in the fifth and the sixth to give them the 7-3 win.
It was a night of missed opportunities for the Rays, who left 16 men on base. The loss coupled with a Yankees win drops the Rays to seven and a half games back in the wildcard. Two steps forward and one step back. Unfortunately there isn’t enough time to make up those steps.