Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays hang on to beat Toronto Blue Jays 6-4, end two-game skid

TORONTO — The smiles in the Rays clubhouse were as much for relief as joy given the moments of concern they went through Saturday afternoon.

A near midair collision between diving outfielders Sam Fuld and B.J. Upton left both a bit shaken and manager Joe Maddon shaking his head at what could have been significant injuries. David Price was visibly frustrated and disappointed when he was removed after allowing three hits to start the ninth, unable to finish what he started. Closer Kyle Farnsworth caused considerable concern when he went down in the ninth with what looked briefly to be a serious knee injury. And there was the slight problem posed by Toronto's Jose Bautista coming to the plate, as he clubbed two more home runs and now has been up nine times without making an out.

But by the end, the Rays had reason to relax, rebounding from Friday's crushing 11-inning walkoff loss with a hard-fought 6-4 win over the Blue Jays.

"Welcome to the American League East, ladies and gentlemen," Maddon said. "I anticipate games like this on a nightly basis. You're always looking for the laugher; you're always looking to get away with something. You're not. You're not. Every game we play in our division this year is going to resemble that game you saw the last two days."

The Rays (10-11), for a while anyway, appeared headed for a relatively uneventful win.

Price was pitching extremely well to the eight mortals in the Toronto lineup, allowing only a pair of solo blasts to Bautista, the briefly onetime Ray who led the majors with 54 homers last season. "Bautista's obviously working off another stratosphere, solar system, whatever," Maddon said. "This guy's just on a different planet right now as a hitter."

Johnny Damon gave the Rays their first lead with a two-run homer in the first, and after Damon's seven-pitch at-bat that ended in a strikeout but finished starter Brandon Morrow's day at 93 pitches in the sixth (which Maddon considered the key to the game), Ben Zobrist put them back ahead with a three-run homer.

They extended the lead to 6-2 in the seventh, and then things got interesting.

The Jays had two on with two outs when Travis Snider lined a ball to left-center. Fuld and Upton took off, neither seeing the other, as Fuld took the inside track with his headfirst dive to make the catch and Upton, out of reaction more than thought, diving behind him.

"All of a sudden you see the Flying Wallenda act," Maddon said. "It was very scary, man."

A similar predicament ended less dramatically in the eighth, with Sean Rodriguez, playing third in place of the benched Felipe Lopez, starting and Zobrist turning an inning-ending double play.

Price had his eyes on a complete game, having thrown only 95 pitches going into the ninth. But a single to Bautista, an RBI double by Adam Lind and a single by Jose Molina changed the look quickly. Maddon decided to make the change, and Price left without acknowledging him and barely his teammates waiting in the dugout.

"I was disappointed in myself," Price said. "He lets me go out there to try and finish the ninth, I've got to be able to do it. It's unfortunate. You've got to go out there in that ninth inning and shut the door."

Farnsworth allowed a single to make it 6-4 then went down awkwardly trying to field a bunt. He stayed in after a few moments pause then finished the job with two groundouts for his fifth save.

"That's what's fun about playing the game," Farnsworth said. "You never know what's going to happen."

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Rays 6

Blue Jays 4

Tampa Bay Rays hang on to beat Toronto Blue Jays 6-4, end two-game skid 04/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2011 9:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.