Rays lose again as Blue Jays start fast

by Gary Shelton on July 3, 2021

in general

Lowe drove in the Rays' only run./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 3 a.m.

It was a night drawn in tragedy. But even for the Tampa Bay Rays, it ended in comedy.

Most of the embarrassment was over in the Rays 11-1 defeat at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays -- their fourth straight loss -- when outfielder Brett Phillips was called on to pitch in mop-up relief.

It was a hoot to see, from Phillips' antics while he was warming up, to his wild spring to the mound, to dropping the ball for a balk.

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For the Rays, that was about the only grin that was available on a dreadful Friday evening. The Blue Jays wore out rookie starter Luis Patino with five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings and coasted.

The Rays have fallen four games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

The Rays have now given up 26 runs in their last two games.

“We’re a good team that’s not playing very well right now," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "I think that’s fair to say. The last two games, I don’t think, are an indication of who we are, but it’s ultimately up to us to turn things around. We need to do that. It got sloppy when it got separated. We’re not accustomed to playing in many separated games like this. "

Patino gave up a two-run homer to George Springer in the first and four more runs in the second. His second-inning error contributed to his demise.

"He has a play he normally would make, and he throws it into center," Cash said. "From there, it snowballed. In theory, he could have had a leadoff walk, which is not ideal, and then a double-play ball. When you give opportunities to really potent offenses, they make the most of it.  After that he settled in. We were encouraged."

The Rays' only run came in the seventh when Brandon Lowe doubled in Francisco Mejia.

The Rays play Toronto again tonight in Buffalo at 7:07 p.m. Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays against Ross Stripling.

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