Late push can't carry Blue Jays over Rays in extras
Second straight 10-inning contest goes other way in rubber match
TORONTO -- After winning a walk-off thriller the day before, the Blue Jays found themselves on the wrong end of an extra-innings battle against the Rays in the series finale on Sunday.
With a runner on third and no outs in the 10th, Toronto couldn't solve Tampa Bay reliever Brad Boxberger and left the tying run standing 90 feet away as Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and Nolan Reimold went down in order to give the Rays the series victory with a 2-1 loss.
The game turned on a fly ball in the top of the 10th that fell in for a ground-rule double, ultimately leading to the Rays' go-ahead run.
After walking Ben Zobrist to start the inning, Blue Jays reliever Sergio Santos got Logan Forsythe to hit a fly ball to right field toward a charging Reimold. But the outfielder wasn't able to make the play and the ball dropped in, giving the Rays a pair of runners in scoring position, one of which ended up being the winning run.
Reimold was quick to admit that he got ahead of himself on the play after he saw Zobrist break for second on the pitch, which caused a split-second distraction resulting in the error.
"I saw him take off," Reimold said following the game. "I was thinking about throwing him out before I caught the ball. It's my fault."
Under normal circumstances, Jose Bautista would've been the one to field that fly ball in right, but the Blue Jays' star player was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the sixth inning.
Bautista, who's stuck in an 0-for-11 slump, would not divulge what he said to home-plate umpire Bill Welke that led to his ejection, but insisted he had done nothing wrong.
"What I am sure I said, I don't feel was warranting of what happene," Bautista said. "But if you want the details, you go ask him, or ask the stadium if they have a microphone and you'll get your answer."
Manager John Gibbons said he didn't know what Bautista said to get tossed, but he acknowledged the Blue Jays can't afford to lose their best player in a one-run game while they're attempting to contend for a Wild Card berth.
"I'm not sure, but I know he said he didn't curse or anything like that. Bottom line, we need him in the game," Gibbons said. "Say your piece, get ... out of there. We're trying to get in the playoffs, we need you on the field. In a way, he's a marked man in this game. Bill Welke, I thought he had a good zone today. He was steady, he was calling strikes, looking to call strikes."
There were mixed performances all the way around for the Blue Jays on the afternoon. The club got a solid outing from from Drew Hutchison -- who tossed his ninth quality start of the season -- and mint relief work from Dustin McGowan and Brett Cecil. But key bats were silent as Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion combined to go 0-for-17 as Rays starter Chris Archer, winning pitcher Jake McGee and Boxberger combined to allow eight hits and one walk in the victory.
"If you're facing this Blue Jays' lineup and you only give up one run, it's something to be happy about," Archer said. "So I'm walking away happy and confident and looking at all the bright things about that game."
Blue Jays reliever Casey Janssen also struggled for the second day in a row. Called on to hold a 1-1 lead in the top of the ninth, Janssen allowed back-to-back singles to Wil Myers and and Yunel Escobar to lead off the inning. They moved into scoring position on a bunt from Curt Casali, prompting Gibbons to hook his closer in favor of Cecil, who struck out two in a row to keep the Blue Jays in it.
"He's struggling right now. His game is location. He's definitely off with that," Gibbons said. "He's given up a lot of hits. He's scuffling right now.
"He's rested; it's not like he's been pitching back-to-back-to-back-to-back days. He's had rest. They all go through those stages. Probably a minor thing to get back on track, but we need him. "
Santos, who was making his first appearance with the Blue Jays since he was designated for assignment in late July, was saddled with the loss despite not giving up an earned run. The right-hander walked one, gave up one hit and struck out two.
"First time back, he's energized out there," Gibbons said. "I think he settled in and got a couple of big outs there late to hold it to one and at least give us a chance."