Since R.A. Dickey’s masterful effort in Texas on Friday night, Toronto has lost four straight and given up a staggering 38 runs, with the Tampa Bay Rays following up the 13-2 beating they handed the Blue Jays with a 12-2 drubbing on Tuesday. If you thought the fracas in Texas was going to help this team come together and inject some life into the ball club on the field, you thought wrong. In the two games since Sunday’s debacle, Toronto has been lifeless, getting behind early and failing to generate much offense at all.
Marcus Stroman’s effort on Tuesday wasn’t as bad as J.A. Happ’s quick exit from the series opener, but it wasn’t much prettier to be honest, as the Toronto ace went 5.2 innings, allowing 13 hits, two walks and seven runs (all earned) in collecting his first loss of the season. Though the Rays didn’t take him deep (Taylor Motter took Drew Storen yard in the ninth), they did touch him up for four doubles and a triple as Stroman struggled to find a rhythm and failed to miss many bats.
On the other side of things, Chris Archer delivered a good, but not great start that was good enough to get his third win of the season. Tampa’s Opening Day starter went six innings, giving up four hits and four walks while striking out seven, his two earned runs coming on a Jose Bautista home run in the bottom of the first. From there, the trio of Enny Romero, Ryan Webb and Dana Eveland closed the door, giving up just a single hit over the final three innings to finish things off.
Tuesday marked the Blue Jays’ first game without manager John Gibbons, who began serving the three-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for returning to the field during Sunday’s melee in Texas.
While Gibbons and first base coach Tim Leiper, who got a one-game ban, didn’t appeal their suspensions, right fielder Jose Bautista has appealed the one-game suspension he was given for his part in the dust-up. Texas second baseman Rougned Odor, who punched Bautista following a hard slide to really set things off, was suspended for eight games.
Player of the Game: Jose Bautista
“Joey Bats” gets the nod thanks to his first-inning home run, his seventh of the season and first since the opening game of Toronto’s series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 6. Bautista finished 1-for-2 with a walk before the Jays decided to get a look at their newest addition, jack-of-all-trades Jimmy Parades, who was picked up off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on Monday and recalled, along with Pat Venditte, prior to Tuesday’s game. Toronto optioned Andy Burns and Dustin Antolin to Buffalo to make room on the roster.
On Deck: In the conclusion of this colossally bad series, the Jays turn to the man that was on the hill the last time they didn’t give up five or more runs, R.A. Dickey (2-4, 4.31) in hopes of halting their four-game losing streak. Tampa Bay counters with Jake Odorizzi (0-2, 3.83), whom Toronto has seen twice already this season.