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Rays streak of .500 road seasons ends in road finale (w/ video)

TORONTO — The Rays reached the end of the road abruptly.

Sunday's walkoff loss kept them from a sixth straight season of .500 or better on the road as they finished 38-40 away from the Trop — still, even with 13 losses on the final pitch, one of the better marks in the league. (They had only 78 road games this season as three games were shifted to the Trop due to civil unrest in Baltimore.)

"I think it's very important," manager Kevin Cash said. "Most of your playoff teams that have good years, they find a way to win on the road. I think actually we've done that throughout the course of the year really well."

The offset is a losing record at home, 37-41 with six games left. "I don't have any answer for the flip side of it," Cash said.

But, indirectly, maybe he did, noting the positive impact road crowds can have.

"The guys seem, for whatever reason, to feed off maybe some of that negative energy when you go into other ballparks," he said. "And that's okay."

Sunday's Rogers Centre sellout crowd of 47,287 was more than the Rays drew for their last three home games combined.

TO THE MATT: RHP Matt Andriese felt he did as well as he could, allowing one run in three innings while throwing 54 pitches in his first start at any level since Aug. 23, and his first multi-inning outing since Aug. 28. "I was pretty satisfied with how I threw," he said.

WELCOME BACK: LHP Jake McGee made his first appearance since Aug. 21 arthroscopic left knee surgery, and it was adventurous.

He allowed a one-out double to Ben Revere — on a ball LF Brandon Guyer and CF Mikie Mahtook nearly collided while chasing as they couldn't hear each other due to the noise. That meant McGee had to face the dynamic duo of 3B Josh Donaldson and RF Jose Bautista with the tying run on second. He got Donaldson on a fly to left then, after Revere moved up on a passed ball by Rene Rivera, he got Bautista on a great stop of a hard-hit grounder by 3B Evan Longoria.

Mahtook said the crowd noise factored in the play.

"It was pretty tough to communicate out there, you don't hear very much," Mahtook said. "We were both going full speed after it, and at the end I think we kinda felt each other, and it got down."

Mahtook also made a baserunning mistake in the eighth when he got caught off third on a ground ball, but the day wasn't a total loss as he hit the sixth homer of his rookie season, his second off veteran LHP Mark Buehrle.

EXCUSE ME: OF Steven Souza Jr. was involved in an odd play in the ninth, when he hit a pop-up to left. As four Jays raced after it, with LF Revere ending up making a sliding catch, Souza kept running and collided at second base with Donaldson, who was covering the open base.

"Donaldson's foot was on the base; he was just in a bad position," Souza said. "I don't think he realized I was coming behind him. As soon as I turned my foot came up and hit his calf and we both kind of went down. Just an accidental collision."

MISCELLANY: Guyer was hit by a pitch for the 21st time, extending his team season record. … The Rays had six rookies in their starting lineup — Andriese, C Luke Maile, 1B Richie Shaffer, 2B Tim Beckham, CF Mahtook and RF Souza. … Former Rays ace LHP David Price won't pitch in the Jays' season-ending series at the Trop; he is scheduled for Thursday in Baltimore.

Toronto Blue Jays fans celebrate Kevin Pillar's game-tying double against the Tampa Rays during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) FNG518

Toronto Blue Jays fans celebrate Kevin Pillar's game-tying double against the Tampa Rays during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) FNG518

Rays streak of .500 road seasons ends in road finale (w/ video) 09/27/15 [Last modified: Monday, September 28, 2015 7:00am]
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