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' rally falls short in 6-5 loss to Toronto Blue Jays

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays began Friday in Chicago, arriving home around 4 a.m. after a late-night flight and the most successful road trip in club history.

Manager Joe Maddon said they felt the effects of the travel early in a 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field, but after showing their trademark fight, Rays players felt they should have been playing later into the night.

With previously sizzling starter Matt Garza fizzling through five innings (giving up five runs), the Rays (12-5) nearly picked him up, battling from a five-run deficit to put the tying run on second with two outs in the ninth. But Ben Zobrist, who worked a 3-and-1 count against Kevin Gregg, said he swung at a pitch out of his zone before getting called out on strikes to end any walk-off dreams of the 22,056 in the seats.

"We should still be playing right now," said Zobrist, who just got a long-term contract extension. "But I swung at a ball, and then got a ball called on me. … It's disappointing just because we feel like we could have won that game.

"Even though we were behind, we came back and we had all the momentum in the world there. It was just disappointing that it ended the way it did."

Garza, who entered Friday's start with an American League-best 0.75 ERA, didn't have his same command, surrendering more runs in the first inning (four) than he had in his previous 24 innings. He labored throughout, walking four, hitting one and throwing a wild pitch.

"I didn't do my job (Friday night); I let the guys down," Garza said. "I usually have good stuff against (the Jays), and … they came out, they looked hungrier than I did. They just had a mission on their faces saying, 'We're not going to let him do what he's done to us in the past.' "

Frustration boiled over later, when catcher Dioner Navarro was ejected by home plate umpire Dan Bellino in the top of the sixth for arguing balls and strikes. He inadvertently bumped Bellino after he got thrown out, which could potentially lead to a suspension. Maddon said if that happens, Sean Rodriguez could fill in as backup catcher "comfortably."

"I just kind of lost my composure," Navarro said. "I've got to know better than that. It was my fault. We'll see what happens."

The bullpen helped pick up Garza, with five relievers combining to give up just one run over the final four innings. Grant Balfour was tagged for a solo homer, but Dan Wheeler, Randy Choate (who had two strikeouts) and Lance Cormier had effective outings, with closer Rafael Soriano (pitching for the first time since Saturday) tossing a 1-2-3 ninth while striking out two.

That allowed the Rays offense a chance to battle back. The Rays struggled early against Jays left-hander Brett Cecil, picking up just one hit through the first four innings.

Willy Aybar — in his first game back since the birth of his son, Willy Jr. — got it started with a two-out solo homer in the fifth. Rightfielder Gabe Kapler walked and scored (on a Zobrist double) in the sixth and added a two-run homer on a full-count pitch in the seventh. And B.J. Upton, who had another spectacular over-the-shoulder catch, knocked in a run with a two-out single in the eighth.

But that was as close as the Rays would get, as Carl Crawford was stranded on second after a two-out ground-rule double in the ninth.

"They just held on," Maddon said. "But I loved the fight."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Jays 6

Rays 5

Tampa Bay Rays' rally falls short in 6-5 loss to Toronto Blue Jays 04/23/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 24, 2010 12:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But it still turned out to be a bad idea as he allowed four runs without getting through three innings.

  3. Rays journal: Dugout bench becomes bed for Logan Morrison at end of long night

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays found creative ways to get through the physical and mental fatigue of the 6½ hours they spent playing — and ultimately winning — Sunday's game in Minnesota.

    Corey Dickerson drapes towels over an exhausted Logan Morrison in the dugout during the 15th inning of Sunday’s marathon victory.
  4. Rays at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Arlington, Texas

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Rangers

    8:05, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 2: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2015 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
  5. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]