Game 161: Bullpen Lets Rays Down In 7-2 Loss to Blue Jays

By David Hill

After sweeping the Orioles and the Yankees, it appeared as though the Rays were poised to make the postseason. Now, after a loss last night to Toronto, each game has virtually become a must win.

The Rays jumped out early. Ben Zobrist led off the game with a double to deep center, and scored when Wil Myers hit a single to left. Tampa had an opportunity to extend the lead in the second when James Loney doubled with one out, and moved to third on a passed ball. However, he was left at third as Toronto starter J.A. Happ worked out of the jam.

With the game being as close to a playoff game as possible in the regular season, Rays manager Joe Maddon treated it as such. Chris Archer gave up three consecutive singles in the top of the third, with Adam Lind‘s base hit tying the game, and was removed in favor of Alex Torres after getting a strikeout. With runners on first and second, Torres was able to escape further trouble and keep the game tied.

However, the wheels came off in the fourth. The Blue Jays put runners on first and second with two outs, and Jamey Wright was brought in to try to escape the inning. However, Wright did not have anything from the start, walking Brett Lawrie before giving up a two run single down the third base line to Lind.

Toronto continued to hammer Wright in the fifth. Anthony Gose singled to lead off the fifth, and Ryan Goins followed with a two run home run. After another base hit and a strike out, Maddon went to his bullpen once again, bringing in Brandon Gomes to attempt to keep the game close. That move backfired as Kevin Pillar greeted Gomes with a two run shot, giving the Blue Jays a 7-1 lead.

The Rays were unable to get anything going against Happ. Despite having chances, the Rays were only able to get the one run as Happ shut down the Rays offense for most of the game. Tampa did get a run back in the top of the ninth, as Myers led off with a ground rule double and scored an a groundout by Delmon Young. However, they were unable to get any closer, as they fell to the Blue Jays 7-2. That loss now leaves the Rays in a tie with the Rangers for the final Wild Card spot.

Torres took the loss, giving up two runs on two hits, striking out two in 1.1 innings of work. Myers was 2-4 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.

Zobrist was 2-4 with a double and a run scored in the loss.