It’s tough to say why the Toronto Blue Jays have such a hard time when they visit Tampa Bay. With their 3-2 loss to the Rays on Wednesday night, the Jays guaranteed the loss of their 16th straight series in Florida.
Granted, even when the Rays weren’t in the playoff hunt regularly they gave Toronto trouble. With the Jays’ offense scuffling, having to face Tampa’s excellent pitching staff is the last thing they would want to do. Especially considering they only managed 3 hits in the game the night before.
The game started off on a good note for the Jays as they were able to manufacture a run in the top of the third. After getting hit by a pitch, Rajai Davis made it to third on a hit-and-run single to right by Colby Rasmus. Edwin Encarnacion flew out to left to score Davis for the first run of the game.
Jays’ starter Carlos Villanueva struggled in the bottom of the third as Rays batters adjusted to what he had thrown them in the first two innings. Villanueva gave up back-to-back doubles and a single to the top of the Rays’ order, before getting Evan Longoria to ground into a double play. Tampa would score 3 runs before the end of the inning. It would be all they needed to win the game.
David Cooper offered a late jolt, hitting his fourth homerun of the season to left field in the top of the ninth. It’s was too little, too late again for the Jays, who were unable to capitalize on a solid scoring opportunity in the seventh with Kelly Johnson on third after a lead-off double.
It will more than likely be a common theme for Toronto over the next couple of days, if not weeks, as Jose Bautista is still experiencing pain in his left wrist and Brett Lawrie is still out with pain in his oblique. The good news to come out of Wednesday was Lawrie’s return to baseball activities and word that Bautista second MRI showed improvement in his wrist. No timetable has been set for either player’s return, but it’s not wishing thinking that they could both return to the Jays lineup before the end of the month if all goes well.
Toronto will try and avoid the sweep on Thursday with an afternoon game. Henderson Alvarez will be on the mound for the Jays and he’ll try to rebound from his loss to Oakland in his last start. Matt Moore will start for Tampa. Moore hasn’t allowed a run in his last 17 2/3 innings.
Game time is set for 1:10pm.
About the Author
Written by Amanda Tallon
Self-professed baseball nerd, blogger, writer, tweeter, learning addict and once colour commentator. Celebrating over twenty years of love with the Toronto Blue Jays and the beautiful game of baseball. I also contribute to thegalsgotgame.com, a sports website for business women by women.