Nothing is ever simple with the Jays
The off-day did not bring the results the Jays were hoping for as they could not do better than getting two hits in the first game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
They were hoping to put an end to their five-game losing streak but they bowed 6-1 as their starter, J.A. Happ, allowed the Brewers to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
The leading Brewers, atop the Central Division of the National League, struck for 10 hits including seven doubles. At one point it look as the Brewers were playing musical chairs at second base !.
The next day, manager John Gibbons could not ask for a better awakening as the Jays scored nine runs on 15 hits, including two homers and the Jays closed their rough road trip with a nice 9-5 win.
Jose Bautista hit his 24th homerun, a three-run blast and Colby Rasmus added a two-run blast, his 16th.
R.A. Dicky registered his 10th win as he gave up only three runs in the first five innings, before issuing a two-run homer to Carlos Gomez. A foursome of relievers followed and shutout the Brewers on two hits.
The Jays keep loosing ground since de beginning of August with only four wins in 17 games, having won only one of their last nine away games… and only nine homeruns.
Going back home, the Jays were hoping that their new found attack was a sign of things to come as the Tampa Bay Rays were coming to Rogers Centre.
It was not to be.
The Jays could not do any better than two hits against Drew Smyly, who looked like David Price in top form. The young lefthander notched his first career shutout and complete game as the Rays won easily 8-0. It was their 17th shutout of the season and their second in a row.
For a second consecutive start, Marcus Stroman was roughed up as he gave up five runs on 10 hits in only five innings.
The following day, despite a blown-up save by Casey Janssen in the ninth inning, the Jays bounced back in the 10th inning. After two outs and a two-strike count, Rasmus surprised the Rays by dropping a bunt for a sinple and then stole second base. Jose Reyes drove him home with the game-winning run.
But… the win is still not official, since the Rays’ manager lodged a protest after a controversial call by senior umpire Bob Davidson, in the fourth inning.
In the final game of the series, the Jays missed and excellent chance to put some distance between them and the Rays. Trailing by one run in the bottom of the tenth inning, the Jays put two men on the bases following two Rays’ miscues.
Despite the fact that they were facing a reliever who was shaken up, two experienced hitters like Reyes and Melky Cabrera swung at the first pitch and were easy outs. Then, Nolan Reimold, inserted in the lineup after Bautista was ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke for arguing a third strike, struck out to end the game.
It was a game that the Jays definitely should have won…
Starting next week, the Jays’ schedule shows that they will plays 25 of their 32 remaining games against their Eastern Division foes: seven vs the Yankees, six vs the Orioles, the Red Sox and the Rays. They will also face the Cubs three times and the Mariners in a four-game series.
What should help the Jays get back in the race, is that 19 of their last 32 games will be at home.