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Rays fall to Jays, ensure losing record

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays lost the chance to finish with a .500 record when they lost to the Jays 8-4 Friday.

At 78-82, the Rays are ensured of a second straight losing season and increased the possibility of finishing last in the American League East.

Manager Kevin Cash was more concerned with how it happened, noting misplayed balls by rookie OFs Joey Butler and Mikie Mahtook and 1B Richie Shaffer getting picked off first.

"That's a disappointing loss. We did some things that we know we shouldn't do. Mental mistakes,'' Cash said. " We just made some young mistakes. … It just wasn't very pretty."

The Rays actually took a 4-1 lead into the sixth, after Mahtook hit his third homer off the season off Jays LHP Mark Buehrle, and eighth of his career. But Erasmo Ramirez, who gave up a career-high 10 hits in the last start of an otherwise successful season, faltered and rookie relievers LHP Enny Romero and, in the next inning, RHP Andrew Bellatti made it worse, allowing seven runs in the two frames.

Jays CF Kevin Pillar made a spectacular running and diving catch.

HIT MAN: CF Brandon Guyer was hit an MLB-record-tying three times by pitches, all by Mark Buehrle, extending his team season record to 24.

Guyer blamed himself more than Buehrle: "It's my natural instinct to stay in there so I can't do anything about it."

It was the first time a batter was hit three times by the same pitcher since 2006, when Rays LHP Casey Fossum did it to Toronto's Reed Johnson.

PITCHING FOR SOMETHING: RHP Chris Archer acknowledged that the toll of 207 innings over 33 starts (plus the All-Star Game) has left him with "a little fatigue" and throwing at about 85-90 percent.

But rather than call it a season, Archer — 2-5, 5.09 in his past 10 starts — will take the mound night seeing an opportunity for "a growth moment" in his continuing quest to improve.

"It's been a long season, and I think that one of the biggest things I can learn is how to be effective when I'm not feeling 100 percent," he said.

Plus, he didn't want his last start to be the Sept. 26 game in Toronto, when he allowed nine runs in 32/3 innings.

"There's no way I want to go out the way I did that last outing," Archer said. "So I'm happy to be able to go out there and have another shot at their lineup, and really finish on a stronger note."

CASALI DONE: As hard as C Curt Casali was working to return to duty from his late-August left hamstring strain, the Rays shut him down, not wanting to risk a recurrence that could impact his winter work as he might enter spring training as the starter.

"It just doesn't make a ton of sense for him to go out there, catch three innings, have a couple at-bats,'' Cash said. "We've got to be smart with him. We want him to have a good offseason, a normal offseason and continue getting better."

TOP GUN: CF Kevin Kiermaier pitched through high school but was still impressed with the MLB Statcast data showing his throw to the plate Thursday clocked at 100.4 mph.

"I didn't know I had that in the tank," he said. "To throw 100 miles an hour is pretty cool. I had a great amount of momentum, I gripped a perfect four-seam, and I had a lot of adrenaline going. So all that comes into play."

The 233-foot throw to nail Miami's J.T. Realmuto gave Kiermaier his 15th outfield assist, most of all MLB centerfielders and one shy of B.J. Upton's team record.

MISCELLANY: Rays pitchers allowed 17 hits, including seven for extra bases. ... SS Troy Tulowitzki returned to the Jays lineup after missing three weeks with a fractured left shoulder blade.

Rays fall to Jays, ensure losing record 10/02/15 [Last modified: Saturday, October 3, 2015 10:20am]
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