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Toronto Blue Jays offence goes ice cold in 1-0 shutout loss to Tampa Bay Rays


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — “Horsebleep.”

That was the sanitized but rather succinct summation of the Toronto Blue Jays latest loss, a 1-0 walkoff to the Tampa Bay Rays here on Wednesday afternoon.

The expression came from from Jays manager John Gibbons, who was speaking specifically about the team’s record at Tropicana Field — 1-5 this season and 4-11 in their past 15. But it could also speak to an offence that has gone ice cold and a team that has fallen to an overall record of 30-38.

That the Jays have lost touch with the front-running New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in the AL East only adds to the frustration, of course, but the offence has been deplorable.

It was the fourth time in the past nine games that the Jays have managed just five hits or less and they were a miserable 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday.

“We’re streaky, that’s just the way it works sometimes,” Gibbons said.

“We had some chances especially early on but couldn’t get a big hit. We’re horsebleep down here. I have no explanation for it, that’s just the way it is.”

Unfortunately with no offence, the Jays were ultimately doomed. So when Matt Duffy walk off singled in the bottom of the ninth to drive home Mallex Smith from third, it was game over and a three-game sweep for the hosts.

It was the only run of the game as both teams were held to just five hits. The loss spoiled another strong outing from Toronto starter J.A. Happ who only went five shutout innings thanks to a high pitch count, but allowed just one hit. The effort lowered his ERA to 3.48 and was his second consecutive game not allowing an earned run.

“I try to give credit where credit is due. I thought they did a good job of fouling some good pitches off,” said Happ, who threw 98 pitches, including 30 in the first inning. “They made it difficult. Certainly, I’d like to go more than five innings, but I was happy to keep them off the board.”

The lone bright spot for the Toronto offence came from Curtis Granderson, who had three singles, albeit harmless ones without any support behind him.

With two outs in the Toronto ninth, Aldemys Diaz hit a line drive off Rays reliever Diego Castillo that was caught by left fielder Johnny Field near the top of the wall, the best-hit ball of the game by far.

“Luckily, I was playing deep and it was high enough that it didn’t seem like one of those no-doubters off the bat,” Field said. “He got under it just enough to give me a chance to get back there.”

The Jays, who were once again without third baseman Josh Donaldson as he continues to recover from a calf injury, won’t exactly get a break when they return home.

After an off day Thursday they begin a three-game weekend series against Washington that will include a Saturday date against Nationals ace Max Scherzer, he of the 10-2 record …read more

Source:: Nationalpost

      

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