The Toronto Blue Jays won't be playing in October and appear headed for a last-place finish in the AL East.
Still, they've done a nice job lately in the unwanted role of spoiler.
Toronto looks to record its first series win at Tropicana Field in over six years and a second straight against a playoff contender Sunday.
Sitting 15 games out of first place in mid-August wasn't where the Blue Jays (57-66) expected to be after adding Jose Reyes , Mark Buehrle , Josh Johnson and Melky Cabrera in a very busy offseason. None of those acquisitions have provided the desired results, though, and Toronto ranks among baseball's most disappointing teams.
The Blue Jays closed their homestand with consecutive wins over division-leading Boston and rebounded with a 6-2 victory Saturday after dropping Friday's series opener 5-4.
The Blue Jays haven't won a series at Tropicana Field since taking two of three April 6-8, 2007, information that was written on a message board in the team's clubhouse. They had lost 17 consecutive series there before splitting a four-game set May 6-9." Roy Halladay couldn't beat Tampa," Lind said. "Obviously we know how hard it is to come in here and not just winning a series, but winning a game."
The homers by Lind and Bautista exceeded by two Toronto's entire output over the previous six games. Lind has three RBIs in this series after totaling one during a 16-game stretch.
Brett Lawrie went 2 for 4 and has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 contests, going 29 for 71 (.408).
Tampa Bay had its win streak snapped at three and dropped two games behind the Red Sox.
Evan Longoria is batting .370 with four homers and 13 RBIs in the season series after collecting two hits Saturday.
He'll try to continue that production Sunday in support of Chris Archer (6-5, 3.10 ERA), who hopes to recapture the form he displayed in July.
After going 4-0 with a 0.73 ERA in five July starts, the right-hander is 0-2 with 6.59 ERA in three outings this month. He had one of his worst starts of the season Tuesday in a 5-4 loss to Seattle, allowing five runs and a career-high nine hits over five-plus innings."Honestly, I'll take full responsibility for that loss, because if I execute a couple pitches in a couple of key situations, those are the games that we win," Archer said. "We score four runs, we win because we have good pitching."
Archer was excellent in his only start against the Blue Jays, yielding one run and five hits in seven innings of a 4-3 victory at Rogers Centre on July 21.
He won't have to face Reyes, who will sit out a second consecutive game with soreness in his right knee.
Todd Redmond (1-1, 3.62) looks to build on a very effective outing for Toronto. Recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to face Boston on Tuesday in his first appearance for the Blue Jays since Aug. 2, Redmond tossed 5 1-3 scoreless innings before the Red Sox won 4-2 in 11.
The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his six starts, walking nine and striking out 36 over 29 2-3 innings.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|August 17, 2013||Jose Reyes||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|August 12, 2013||Colby Rasmus||15-Day DL||Left oblique strain|
|August 10, 2013||Juan Perez||60-Day DL||Torn UCL ligament, left elbow|
|August 07, 2013||Josh Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
|August 03, 2013||Steve Delabar||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 02, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee strain|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|August 17, 2013||Luke Scott||15-Day DL||Lower back spasms|
|August 04, 2013||Desmond Jennings||15-Day DL||Fractured left middle finger|
|August 02, 2013||Brandon Guyer||15-Day DL||Fractured right middle finger|
|July 29, 2013||Matt Moore||15-Day DL||Left elbow soreness|
|June 30, 2013||Jesse Crain||60-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|June 28, 2013||Evan Longoria||Day-to-Day||Plantar fasciitis, left foot|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fl. (AP) -- Jose Lobaton came up big again for the Tampa Bay Rays .
Lobaton hit a solo home run in the 10th inning and the Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 on Sunday.
Lobaton sent a 2-1 pitch from Brad Lincoln (1-2) with one out into the right-field seats. Lobaton had a game-ending triple in the ninth Friday.
"It's different," Lobaton said. "Walk-off triple, that was amazing. Walk-off homer, run the bases like that, is unbelievable. It's something that you want to do all the time. Hopefully it's not the last one."
Lobaton's parents were at the ballpark for both of his key hits.
"Seriously, that's pretty cool for him," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Very, very cool."
Jake McGee (3-3) struck out one during a perfect 10th.
Tampa Bay took two of three from Toronto, which hasn't won a series at Tropicana Field since April 2007.
Rays starter Chris Archer allowed one run and four hits over seven innings.
Blue Jays right-hander Todd Redmond , a St. Petersburg native, gave up one run and six hits over six-plus innings in his first start at Tampa Bay.
"We wasted great pitching out there," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "If you're going to play in prime time, you've got to win those games. We've had so many of them over the course of the season and we haven't been able to win them."
Evan Longoria put the Rays up 1-0 in the first with his 24th homer, an opposite-field drive to right that resulted in a video review after a fan in the front row caught the ball just above the fence.
"One bad pitch to Longoria, one of the best-hitting third basemen in the game right now," Redmond said. "You do that, and you pay the price. (The fan) probably reached over a little bit, but it was probably just far enough to where it didn't matter."
The Blue Jays tied it at 1 when Edwin Encarnacion connected for his 31st homer this season with two outs in the seventh. He nearly put Toronto ahead in the ninth, but his two-out drive off Fernando Rodney hit off the top of the left-field wall and the slugger wound up with a double.
"Very, very lucky right there," Maddon said.
Archer retired nine in a row before Anthony Gose started the fourth with a single. Gose stole second and went to third on Jose Bautista 's one-out flyball, but was left stranded when Encarnacion flew out.
Gose was the only Toronto baserunner until Encarnacion's seventh-inning homer. After the home run, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie had consecutive singles before Mark DeRosa grounded out.
The Rays got a one-out double from Longoria in the fourth and Yunel Escobar hit a leadoff double to begin the fifth, but Redmond worked out of both jams without allowing a run. Redmond also got an inning-ending double play from Wil Myers with two on during the sixth.
Tampa Bay also wasted a scoring chance in the seventh with no outs when pinch-runner Sean Rodriguez was caught in a rundown between third and homer after pinch-hitter Jason Bourgeois failed to get a bunt down.
NOTES: Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore , on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow soreness, played catch after being shut down for three days after experiencing elbow discomfort during a 55-pitch bullpen session Wednesday. The All-Star plans to throw again Monday. ... Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes was out of the lineup for the second straight game due to right knee soreness. ... Myers started in right field after being the designated hitter the previous three games. Maddon has said Myers is physically fine, but that he wanted to get the rookie off his feet for a few days. ... Rays INF Ryan Roberts accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham.