Rays closer Fernando Rodney talks about giving up the 9th inning homer to Jose Bautista that led to his blown save, and the 4-3 10-inning loss.
The Rays ended a good road trip in a bad way Wednesday evening, blowing another ninth inning lead and losing to the Jays 4-3 in 10 innngs.
The Rays took a 3-2 lead into the ninth, having gotten 8 strong innings from Jeremy Hellickson and rallying in the top of the ninth to snap a 2-2 tie, James Loney singling in Evan Longoria, who had doubled to extend his career best hitting streak to 16 games.
The Rays turned to Fernando Rodney to get the last three outs, but he failed them again. Rodney gave up a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista, his second of the game, and then was lifted after a one-out walk to Adam Lind. Joel Peralta came in and got them out of that mess.
The Jays won it in the 10th with Cesar Ramos on the mound. Colby Rasmus reached on a rare error by 1B James Loney, who couldn't handle a low throw by C Jose Molina after fielding Rasmus's squibber. Rasmus moved to second on a bunt and then third on a ground out.
The Rays turned next to Kyle Farnsworth, and after getting ahead 0-and-2 on Jose Bautista, he gave up a single to rightfield tha scored the winner.
The Rays are off Thursday and open a weekend series with the Yankees on Friday at the Trop.
Another Rays minor-leaguer was suspended for drug-related reasons, RHP Angel Yepez getting a 50-game ban after testing positive for "metabolites of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance,'' according to an MLB release.
Yepez, 18, is in his first pro season and pitching in the Venezuelan Summer League.
He is the ninth Rays minor-leaguer to be suspended for drug-related reasons since the start of last season. RHP Jose Disla, a 17-year-old on the Dominican Summer League roster, was suspended last month....
The hinted change in the Rays rotation became official Wednesday, with a decision to move RHP Alex Cobb up to face the Yankees on Sunday and bump rookie RHP Jake Odorizzi back a day to face the Marlins on Monday.
The change was possible because the Rays are off Thursday, meaning Cobb will pitch on regular rest on Sunday. And manager Joe Maddon acknowledged that he pulled Cobb when he did Tuesday, after 107 pitches, with the idea that he would be brought back to start Sunday....
OF Matt Joyce said the right hamstring tightness that forced him from Tuesday's game "is nothing too serious" and he expects to return to the lineup on Friday - with the possibility he could pinch-hit today.
Joyce said he wanted to stay in long enough to hit again last night and then be replaced by a pinch-runner, but the Rays coaches didn't want to take any chances. He thinks the tightness was the result of being dehyrdated for the last several days....
UPDATE, 3:34: Longoria said Maddon and bench coach Dave Martinez suggested the DH idea and given that they were playing on turf here and are off tomorrow he agreed. ... Maddon said Molina essentially talked his way into the lineup, that he was "very convincing that he was healthier.'' .. Maddon said Joyce definitely should be available as a pinch-hitter tonight.
05/22/13 The Heater
The routine has become stunningly commonplace by now — the frustrated reaction followed by the long walk, lowered heads, sullen clubhouse and generic answers laced with requisite optimism.
The Rays blew another lead and lost another game they looked to have won Wednesday, ending what had been a good road trip in a terrible way, a 4-3 10-inning loss to the Blue Jays.
It would seem amazing, only it has happened too often to be, the third game they've lost this season when leading in the ninth, the seventh when leading from the seventh inning on....
05/22/13 The Heater
TORONTO — As remarkably well as 3B Evan Longoria has played thus far, he said early on his legs felt so tired he worried if he could make it through a full season.
"I felt pretty bad after the first week of the season, like 10 games in. I was kind of scared," Longoria said. "Because in spring training, you probably don't play three-four games in a row at the most toward the end of spring. Once we got like a week, 10 days into the season, I was feeling like, man, my legs were tired. And thoughts started to creep in about how you're going to do it for 162 days."...
05/22/13 The Heater
Next game: 7:10 p.m. Friday, vs. Yankees, Tropicana Field
Rays: RH Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 5.24)
YANKEES: RH David Phelps (2-2, 3.83)
Saturday: vs. Yankees, 4:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (8-0, 2.29); Yankees — Vidal Nuno (1-0, 0.00)
Sunday: vs. Yankees, 1:40, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (5-2, 2.73); Yankees — CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.43)...
Rays RHP Alex Cobb talks about pitching into the 7th against Toronto for his fifth win of the season.
05/21/13 The Heater
TORONTO — With all Fernando Rodney did Tuesday, he figured he might as well aim high.
So after getting the final five outs in another tougher-than-it-needed-to-be 4-3 win over the Blue Jays, he took full aim at the top of the Rogers Centre with his imaginary celebratory arrow.
"Right through the roof," Rodney said. "You going to see (today) in the newspaper, when you wake up, you're going to see the hole."...
Rays manager Joe Maddon said that after some research by executive VP Andrew Friedman, he now understands the umpires ruled correctly in their use of the replay rule on Sunday in Baltimore.
"I was wrong, apparently,'' he said.
However, Maddon said he did not agree with the procedure that allows umpires to look at the replay for the purpose of determining if a ball was a home run but then be able to decide if it was foul when that wasn't the original call....
UPDATE, 6:23: Speaking briefly with reporters in English and Spanish, Escobar said he didn't understand why this was such a big deal since he had made a similar gesture after other home runs and no one said anything about it. As he talked, and MLB Network segment on the issue played on the clubhouse TVs, and players turned down the music to listen.
UPDATE, 6:18: Here is more from Maddon on the Escobar matter:...
UPDATE, 3:29: A couple of early notes: The Rays will keep their rotation in order through Thursday's off-day, so that means RHP Roberto Hernandez (the new one), LHP Matt Moore and RHP Jake Odorizzi will face the Yankees. ... RHP Roberto Hernandez (the first one) will represent the Rays at the June 6 draft; three other former Rays will be there - Fred McGriff for the Jays, Jim Mecir for the A's, Andy Cannizaro for the Yankees. ... The Rays ERA is 4.41, it's highest since June 2009. ... The Rays are the only AL team to be at .500 or above on this date the last six years....
UPDATE, 3:01: Further word from MLB on the plans for Monday:
* MLB will donate 100% of its net proceeds from sales of the camouflage caps and jerseys to Welcome Back Veterans as part of its contribution to the program.
* MLB will also participate in a National Moment of Remembrance where all games during Memorial Day weekend will include a moment of silence in honor of members of the military who lost their lives serving their country, a program the league has participated in since 1997....