Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays try to sweep aside three-error game

TORONTO — The Rays couldn't have picked a worse night for their worst defensive game of the year.

Their three errors in Friday's 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays were their most in any game this season — they hadn't made even two in a game since Sept. 1 — and all three led to runs.

"These things happen,'' said 3B Evan Longoria, who made two of the errors. "They happen regardless of the time of the year. We have to find a way to bounce back."

Longoria's first error was the result of hesitation in reading the bounces of a ball hit at him. His second was more out of frustration, grabbing a ball that he said would have scored a run anyway and trying a tough throw.

"We had, I had, an uncharacteristically sloppy game, and unfortunately that came back to bite us," Longoria said.

CF Sam Fuld made the other error, charging a base hit and taking his eye off it just enough for it to skip by him and roll nearly to the wall. A heads-up backup by RF Matt Joyce allowed them to throw out Ryan Goins trying to come around to score.

"It's frustrating to make three errors, but I don't think we're going to lose any sleep over it because we're a really good defensive team," Fuld said.

Manager Joe Maddon has a standard line he uses after ugly wins, saying they all can't be oil paintings. He amended that slightly Friday.

"This was paint by numbers tonight," he said. "You've got to put it in the bathroom or put it in the garage or just throw it away. That's all you can do."

MEDICAL MATTERS: CF Desmond Jennings continues to work his way back from a strained left hamstring, but Maddon said he might not play in the field this weekend, aiming for a potential AL wild-card game as his return.

Jennings, who was injured Sunday, made a pitch-hit appearance Wednesday and might get more in an effort to keep his swing sharp. "I'd like to get him at-bats … but he does not have to play," Maddon said.

SS Yunel Escobar, who left Tuesday's game with a sore ankle, is expected to return to the lineup today. He could have started Friday, but Maddon said he preferred to give him more rest and wanted to go with a primarily left-handed lineup against Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey anyway.

Though there was nothing definitive on RHP Jesse Crain, it remains unlikely he will be able to pitch this weekend because of recurring shoulder issues. Maddon said they hadn't discussed yet whether to keep working to try to get Crain healthy during the playoffs if they make it. "If we thought he was still trending in the right direction … then you'd try to keep him throwing," Maddon said.

Same old FOR Archer: As significant as today's game is, rookie RHP Chris Archer insists he won't treat it any differently than his previous 22 starts.

"I say this every time, just because I mean it: I'm not going to take a different mentality into it, because the games now are just as important as in June or July when I was first here," Archer said. "Overall my mentality over the course of the season has helped me be pretty successful, so I'm just going to stick to my normal thought process and how I approach the game."

MISCELLANY: DH Delmon Young, making his third straight start against a right-hander, hit his 100th career homer. … Rookie LHP Enny Romero and OF Freddy Guzman arrived in Toronto on Friday evening, unable to travel with the team because of issues with their work visas. … SS Ben Zobrist had his 10th three-hit game. … LHP Jeff Beliveau made his Rays debut in his fourth stint with the team, getting out two of the four batters he faced. … The Rays outhomered the Yankees 26-9 in their 19 games, the largest season-series margin ever against the Bronx Bombers.

 
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