ST. PETERSBURG — Even after getting beat by the Blue Jays 6-2 Friday night at Tropicana Field, the Rays still were taking on losses.
Outfielder Randy Arozarena, who left the game with a groin/quad injury, is day to day over the final seven games of the regular season. Reliever Jason Adam, just off the injured list, is heading back to an MRI tube to have his oblique imaged again.
And after the loss, manager Kevin Cash announced that second baseman Brandon Lowe likely is done for the season with a fractured right kneecap.
“It’s the worst possible scenario,” said starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow, who lost command and control of the game in the sixth inning. “I mean, it’s never good. You have to deal with what you have. But it sucks, for sure. I think just, those guys are huge for our team, and to see that happen it’s not ideal. But I guess we’ll wait and just kind of see where we go from now.”
Glasnow walked three straight batters in the sixth as the Blue Jays rallied for four runs, taking a 4-1 lead. Before leaving in the fourth inning, Arozarena scored on Harold Ramirez’s RBI single in the first. Rookie third baseman Curtis Mead hit his first big-league home run in the seventh for the Rays’ only other run.
The only break the Rays got was the Orioles losing 9-8 to the Guardians, meaning Tampa Bay remains just 1-1/2 games behind Baltimore in the race for the American League East championship.
Now, the Rays (94-61) head into their final stretch of the season with an uncertain lineup. There is the very real possibility they could face these same Blue Jays (86-68) in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
Lowe fractured the kneecap when he fouled a ball off of it on Thursday. The left-handed-hitting infielder has 21 home runs this season despite missing 27 games with a herniated disk.
“It’s four to six weeks,” Cash said when asked about Lowe’s possible return.
The World Series is scheduled to begin five weeks from Friday.
The news about Lowe was a dark cloud hanging over an already bad night at the Trop.
Arozarena said he felt the leg injury while sliding into second base on his first-inning double. He’s never had an injury like it before, but while the team considers him “day to day” he is optimistic he can make a quick return.
“I feel pretty good, and so I’m hoping to come back quick,” Arozarena said via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “Hopefully, it’s just nothing too major.”
Adam, who last pitched Aug. 27 due to a strained left oblique, was making his first appearance since being reinstated from the injured list on Thursday. He left after pitching to three batters in the ninth inning.
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“It’s the same area,” he said afterward. “This one feels a little different, feels like it’s lower. It was a stronger sensation than the last time, which I don’t know what that means, but definitely feels like a new spot. I don’t know if it’s related, but we’ll see. Obviously, we’ll get imaging and go from there.”
Adam said he felt fine warming up and through his first eight pitches of the inning but then felt his side grab again.
“I don’t want to speculate too much,” he said when asked if he might be done for the season. ‘You never know. These things are weird. We’ll wake up (Saturday) and be fine. So, we’ll hold on to that hope.”
Earlier in the day, the Rays put outfielder/first baseman Luke Raley on the injured list (retroactive to Thursday) because of ongoing neck issues that caused him to lose feeling and strength in his left arm on Wednesday. Raley initially was injured when he ran into Navarro while chasing a fly ball during batting practice Saturday in Baltimore.
Raley would not be eligible to come off the injured list until the final days of the regular season.
“It sucks, but it’s a resilient group,” Adam said. “These guys are a bunch of gamers in here, so I’m not not really worried about the team. Selfishly, I’m really sad, because I know these guys are battling for something special and I want to be part of it.”
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