Tampa Bay took a two-run lead in the first two innings against Drew Hutchison. Kevin Kiermaier singled on the second pitch of the game, stole second, and scored on a David DeJesus single to center. Yet Toronto knotted the game at one apiece in the second inning on an RBI groundout by Chris Colabello groundout.
Tampa Bay regained the lead with a two-out rally in the second. The Outlaw came up with an RBI base-hit to right — scoring Jake Elmore who reached on a walk, moved to second on a groundout, and was wild pitched to third — then eventually scored himself on a single by Evan Longoria. Hutchison, who labored through the first two innings, managed to get through five frames, departing the game after his team scored seven runs. Hutchison entered the night with the most run support in the majors (eight runs per game, on average).
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays hit three homers against Rays’ starter Matt Andriese, and eventually broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning when Jose Bautista crushed a solo shot to left field. All of the homers came on mistake pitches that Andriese left over the plate:While the homers were of the solo shot variety, they added up and bolstered the death by a thousand cuts feeling of the game.
Ronald Belisario entered the game with one out in the sixth, and though he was tasked with getting just two outs, he quickly gave up the ghost. Belisario allowed a walk to Edwin Encarnacion, a bloop single to Dioner “Whiskers” Navarro, and then an RBI double to Colabello to give Toronto a two-run lead. The sinker-baller never settled in, and with the infield in, Ezequiel Carrera hit a grounder just past Logan Forsythe to plate another run, and Danny Valencia capped the four-run rally with an RBI groundout to third.
The Rays put together a two-run rally in the seventh after Forsythe homered to left, and Rene Rivera doubled home Steven Souza Jr., who reached on a triple to the left-field corner. However, Liam Hendriks (entering the game in relief of St. Pete native Todd Redmond) fanned Kevin Kiermaier for the final out of the inning. Prior to that, Kiermaier went 3-4.
Toronto notched their eighth run on a Danny Valencia single in the eighth against Enny Romero. The run was set up after the Rays’ high octane lefty culled two quick outs before giving up a single Carrera. Toronto’s right-fielder moved to third on a botched pick-off throw by Romero that sailed over the head of Elmore, and bounded up the right-field line.
Steve Geltz threw a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth, and now has retired a club-record 28 straight batters. He spoke about the accomplishment with Rays Radio following the game:
Tampa Bay loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth against Hendriks and Roberto Osuna (who entered the game in relief), but the righty fanned Souza Jr. and Nick Franklin to end the threat. Franklin took over at short after Asdrubal Cabrera was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Cabrera has now been ejected four times in his career, and stands as the first Rays player to be ejected this season.
Osuna came back out for the ninth and put down Elmore, Rivera, and Kiermaier in order for a 1-2-3 ninth.
On the night, the Rays went 4-19 with runners in scoring position with 11 strikeouts — preventing the team from taking advantage of 15 hits, and five stolen bases. Again, death by a thousand cuts. Kevin Kiermaier spoke about the offensive struggles after the game:
The New What Next
Chris Archer (8-4, 2.18 ERA) will look to continue the historic success he’s had against the Blue Jays, opposite of knuckleballer RA Dickey. In two starts against Toronto, Archer has allowed just four hits and hasn’t given up a run in 14 innings while striking out 18. He is the first pitcher to make consecutive starts of seven-plus innings with two hits or fewer and no runs against the Blue Jays since Oakland’s Ron Darling in 1992. Dickey was activated from the bereavement list Monday after he spent some time away from the team following the death of his father last Tuesday. He has a 3-4 record with a 4.18 ERA in 11 career outings at Tropicana Field. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.
Rays 6/23/15 Starting Lineup
Souza Jr. RF
— Following his 2 IP/1 ER/3 K appearance, the Rays optioned LHP Enny Romero back to Triple-A Durham. The team responded by recalling RHP reliever Kirby Yates from Triple-A Durham. Yates recently spent time on the 15-day DL after sustaining a right pectoral strain.
— Rays manager Kevin Cash said Erasmo Ramirez, who was initially scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, will instead throw again in 2-3 days. He could join the back end of the rotation next week. For what it’s worth, Ramirez’s regularly scheduled start would fall on Thursday — an off-day for the Rays. Since he would likely miss a start on Friday, his next start would fall on Tuesday, June 30. Matt Moore will make his final rehabilitation start with the Durham Bulls on Friday, slotting his return to the rotation for Wednesday, July 1.
— John Jaso worked at first base and took batting practice Monday afternoon. Jaso is aiming to begin a rehab assignment at the end of the week — likely with the Stone Crabs — but still needs to make hard contact swings before progressing to games.
— Grady Sizemore made his organizational debut with the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Sizemore went 0-2 before a rain delay. Sizemore, who signed a minor-league deal this month after being released by the Phillies, was quoted after the game:
I’m not trying to prove anything. Just trying to get the reps, get back in shape, make a difference and make an impact.