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Devil Rays fumble away win to Blue Jays in eighth

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

TORONTO -- Stacked with young talent, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are still struggling to overcome their own mental mistakes.

A pair of eighth-inning errors led to four unearned runs, helping the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Devil Rays 5-3 on Saturday.

"We have to get beyond this," said Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon. "This is the kind of game we have to win. These are the kind of mistakes that we're trying to work though and not have pop up at critical moments like they did today."

Adam Lind hit a three-run homer and John-Ford Griffin added a solo shot for the Blue Jays, who have won 10 of 15. Tampa Bay has lost 13 of 17.

Toronto broke a 1-all tie with a four-run eighth against reliever Dan Wheeler (0-5). Reed Johnson started the rally by reaching base on a throwing error, Matt Stairs walked and Russ Adams, pinch hitting for Frank Thomas, bunted down the third base line. Wheeler fielded the ball and threw to Joel Guzman, but he couldn't find first base with his foot.

"We messed it up totally," Maddon said.

With the bases loaded, Aaron Hill hit a sacrifice fly and Lind connected to right-center.

"We tried going up and I just didn't get it up," said Wheeler, who instead left his pitch belt-high.

It was the second homer in as many games for Lind, who hit a two-run shot in Friday's 5-4 victory.

"Lindy has been hot," Hill said. "He's definitely opened some eyes and maybe some doors, too."

The errors weren't the only problem for Tampa Bay.

Delmon Young was yanked for Greg Norton in the bottom of the sixth after failing to run out a grounder to third in the top of the inning, prompting an angry outburst by the volatile rookie outfielder.

"I'm not the only one doing it," said Young, who has played in all 161 games this season but could be out of the lineup for the season finale. "I play every day. I don't complain about going out there. I'll see you guys next year because I'm shut down."

Maddon said he had not made a decision regarding Young for Sunday.

"I haven't told him anything yet," Maddon said.

Scott Downs (4-2) earned the win by getting pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes to ground into an inning-ending double play in the eighth.

Hill singled to open the Toronto fourth, the first hit of the game against Tampa Bay starter Edwin Jackson. Lind grounded into a double play but Griffin followed with a solo home run as Toronto took a 1-0 lead.

The Devil Rays tied it in the fifth when Wilson walked and scored on a double by Akinori Iwamura.

Jackson allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, walked five and struck out six. It was just the second time in 31 starts this season that Jackson has worked seven innings or longer.

"He's grown a lot this year," Maddon said. "It's something to look forward to next year."

Toronto right-hander Jesse Litsch allowed one run and four hits in six innings. He walked four -- one intentional -- and struck out three.

"He's done a tremendous job," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He has very little experience but he's done everything right."

Carlos Pena went 0-for-2 with three walks, becoming just the 11th player in AL history to collect at least 45 homers, 120 RBI and 100 walks in a single season. Pena, who has 45 homers and 120 RBI, has walked 102 times this season.

Notes

  • Hill extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.
  • Downs has pitched in a career-high 81 games this season.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Adam Lind knocks a three-run homer for the high-flying Jays, who have won 10 of their past 15.  (AP)
Adam Lind knocks a three-run homer for the high-flying Jays, who have won 10 of their past 15. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

A. Iwamura
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Toronto

A. Hill
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B4022110 .285
Jorge Velandia, 2B4010023 .340
Carlos Pena, DH1000300 .280
B.J. Upton, CF4000015 .300
Delmon Young, RF3010000 .289
    Greg Norton, RF0000000 .241
   a- Jonny Gomes, PH-LF1000001 .244
Dioner Navarro, C4120002 .227
Joel Guzman, 1B4000004 .242
Justin Ruggiano, LF-RF4001010 .100
Josh Wilson, SS1100200 .238
   b- Raul Casanova, PH1010000 .230
    Brendan Harris, PR0100000 .286
Totals3137365  
a-grounded into a double play for Norton in the 8th
b-singled for Wilson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Akinori Iwamura (21, Litsch), Dioner Navarro (19, Wolfe)
RBI - Akinori Iwamura 2 (33), Justin Ruggiano (1)
2-OUT RBI - Akinori Iwamura (13)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Iwamura-Velandia-Guzman, Iwamura-Velandia-Guzman
E - Joel Guzman (1, Missed catch of throw), Josh Wilson (22, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Edwin Jackson 7311561 5.76
Dan Wheeler (L,1-9) 1140111 5.30
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 104-64, Dan Wheeler 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 5-8, Dan Wheeler 2-2
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 27, Dan Wheeler 7
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, CF-RF3100101 .235
Matt Stairs, 1B2100211 .289
Frank Thomas, DH3000012 .277
   a- Russ Adams, PH-DH0100000 .232
Aaron Hill, 2B3011001 .291
Adam Lind, LF4113012 .238
John-Ford Griffin, RF3111120 .333
    Alex Rios, CF0000000 .296
Curtis Thigpen, C3010100 .235
Hector Luna, 3B3000013 .184
Ray Olmedo, SS2000111 .208
Totals2654567  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Thomas in the 8th
Batting
HR - Adam Lind (11, Wheeler), John-Ford Griffin (1, Jackson)
SF - Aaron Hill (5)
SH - Russ Adams (2)
RBI - Aaron Hill (78), Adam Lind 3 (44), John-Ford Griffin (3)
2-OUT RBI - John-Ford Griffin (1)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Reed Johnson 1
DP - Olmedo-Hill-Stairs, Luna-Hill-Stairs, Luna-Hill-Stairs
E - Aaron Hill (14, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Jesse Litsch 6411430 3.81
Brandon League 0.1000100 6.17
Joe Kennedy 0.2000110 4.80
Jason Frasor 0.1000010 4.58
Scott Downs (W,4-2) 0.2000000 2.17
Brian Wolfe 1322000 2.98
IBB - Pena by Jesse Litsch
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Litsch 100-56, Brandon League 10-4, Joe Kennedy 13-8, Jason Frasor 7-5, Scott Downs 2-2, Brian Wolfe 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Litsch 9-5, Brandon League 1-0, Joe Kennedy 1-0, Scott Downs 1-0, Brian Wolfe 1-1
Batters Faced - Jesse Litsch 25, Brandon League 2, Joe Kennedy 3, Jason Frasor 1, Scott Downs 1, Brian Wolfe 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37681
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Adam Dowdy, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Jerry Meals