Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bullpen falters in ninth as Rays lose to Blue Jays (w/ video)

ST. PETERSBURG — For the first eight innings of Sunday afternoon's Rays game against the Blue Jays, neither manager had much to do. Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi pitched seven solid innings, giving up two hits, although one was a fourth-inning home run.

Toronto starter Marcus Stroman, celebrating his 25th birthday, was just as good. He went eight innings and gave up three hits, although one was a sixth-inning homer to Evan Longoria.

Then came the ninth inning, where a series of managerial decisions led to the Rays' 5-1 loss.

Toronto manager John Gibbons decided to pinch-hit righty Darwin Barney for Ryan Goins against left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno. Barney delivered with a leadoff double. A walk to Michael Saunders ended Cedeno's outing.

Right-hander Alex Colome relieved and walked Josh Donaldson to load the bases with no outs. A strikeout to Jose Bautista gave the Rays hope, but with Tampa Bay's infielders shifted to the left side, Edwin Encarnacion hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Logan Forsythe, who was on the third-base side of second. With the shift, Forsythe had no play at second and was forced to take the out at first, scoring Barney.

That made it 2-1. Then Troy Tulowitzki, mired in an 0-for-16 slump, hit a three-run homer that sent some of the 27,217 at Tropicana Field headed to the exits. It was the first home run Colome has given up in 69 innings.

"They made a good move, I guess, bringing in Barney," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He gets the big hit."

But what really had Cash second-guessing himself was the decision to shift the infield against the right-handed hitting Encarnacion.

"Looking back on it, that's what I'm most frustrated about," he said. "In a perfect world we would've brought the infield in and put Logan in the exact same spot, and we would've had an out at home. But he hit it in the one spot we couldn't turn it."

The way the Rays (11-13) hit Sunday, it might not have mattered if they had gotten out of the ninth inning unscathed. Stroman struck out a career-high nine. The Rays' only other hit came in the ninth inning, when Longoria led off with a single against reliever Roberto Osuna.

Aside from Longoria's home run, Tampa Bay got a runner to second only once, in the third inning.

"(Stroman) throws four or five quality pitches," Longoria said. "He doesn't make too many mistakes. We didn't hit with runners in scoring position. We need to figure out how to get better in those situations."

The loss put a damper on a good start by Odorizzi. He walked the first batter of the game, Saunders, but got a double play to get out of that mini jam. He retired nine in a row until Donaldson came up with one out in the fourth and launched a fastball into the leftfield seats, his ninth homer of the season.

Longoria tied it in the sixth with his fifth homer of the season. The only other threat Toronto had until the ninth was in the seventh inning. Bautista walked and reached second on an errant pickoff attempt. But Odorizzi got the next two batters to get out of the inning.

"I just made better pitches and had command of the zone," Odorizzi said. "I thought the double play in the first inning was huge to get out of the inning and keep my pitch count low."

Bullpen falters in ninth as Rays lose to Blue Jays (w/ video) 05/01/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2016 12:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs-Bills: Instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Here's the Tampa Bay Times' Bucs coverage team's instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo:

    YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP

    Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (58) intercepts a Jameis Winston (3) pass intended for tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Bucs overcome 11-point deficit, then allow game to slip away, 30-27, to Bills

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — In less than a minute, a hard-fought win — and perhaps much more — slipped away from the Bucs, who gave up 10 points in the final four minutes and lost to the Bills, …

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) tries to turn the corner as Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) forces him out of bounds during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. AP Top 25: USF stays ahead of UCF, but just barely

    Blogs

    USF remains ahead of UCF in the latest AP Top 25 poll - but just barely.

    Quinton Flowers and USF dropped one spot to No. 17 in the latest rankings.
  4. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Breaking down the Bolts' record start

    Blogs

    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes! podcast, we break down the Lightning's record 7-1-1 start. Why are Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos clicking so well? Why Mikhail Sergachev is likely here …

    Why are Steven Stamkos, pictured, and Nikita Kucherov clicking so well?
  5. My AP Top 25 ballot: UCF moves into the top 15, Michigan falls out

    Blogs

    No major changes in my latest AP Top 25 ballot.