The Rays lost their starting pitcher in the fourth to back tightness. They lost their manager in the seventh after an overturned call went against the team. Finally in the ninth, they lost their centerfielder after he lost it on a called third strike.
Jeff Niemann was removed from the game after his back progressively tightened up on him in four innings of work. Niemann allowed three runs on six hits and did not allow a walk or a have a strikeout. He threw 62 pitches with 43 of them strikes. Niemann appeared to have dwindling velocity; however, some of it – at least early on – may have been by design. He surrendered a two-out, two-strike, two-run, homer to Adam Lind in the first. It turns out that would be all the Blue Jays would need.
The Rays struggled once again versus Brandon Morrow. The righty allowed just one run on five hits while striking seven. He walked four, but the offense could not capitalize. Upon his exit after 6.1 innings, Sam Fuld hit a grounder down the third base line with two on and one out. Edwin Encarnacion stepped on the bag for out number two and made a wide throw to first. Fuld appeared to hit the bag before Adam Lind made a swipe tag and was ruled safe by Joe West. After a meeting of the minds, West was overruled.
This prompted Joe Maddon to argue and subsequently get tossed. Maddon said this is the type of play that “screams” for instant replay. Not to far behind Maddon, B.J. Upton was tossed for arguing balls and strikes in the game’s final inning. Maddon backed Upton and said the at-bat should prompt further review.
Other than that, it was a rather quiet day at the office. The Rays offense remained dormant for most of the game while the pitching was good, but not great. A tip of the game is owed to Andy Sonnantine (3IP), Juan Cruz (1P), and Adam Russell (1P) for locking the game down after Niemann. The trio combined for five scorless innings allowing just two hits and no walks. Luckily, there will not be much time to dwell on the loss as first pitch is at 1:10 tomorrow afternoon. David Price opposed Kyle Drabek, who moves up in the rotation to pitch for Ricky Romero (mild left oblique injury).