Tampa Bay at Toronto

Tampa Bay
W: J. Happ (5-7) L: A. Torres (4-2)
HR: TB - None   TOR - R. Goins (2),K. Pillar (3)

Rays stumble, fall into tie for second AL wild-card spot

CBSSports.com wire reports

TORONTO -- The Tampa Bay Rays have left themselves with a pretty big Game 162.

Tampa Bay dropped into a tie with Texas for the second AL wild-card berth, losing to Toronto 7-2 Saturday. Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar hit two-run home runs for the Blue Jays, and J.A. Happ won for the first time in four starts.

"I'm excited for tomorrow," Rays slugger Evan Longoria said. "We like to make it interesting, that's for sure."

Tampa Bay won the wild card in 2011 when Evan Longoria's 12th-inning homer beat the New York Yankees 8-7, capping a seven-run comeback. Boston's loss at Baltimore that night put the Rays into the postseason.

"We've been here before, we've been in these moments," manager Joe Maddon said. "We never do things seemingly easily so let's just play tomorrow and see what happens."

The Rays (90-71) lost their second straight following a seven-game winning streak and dropped a half-game behind Cleveland (90-70), which was playing at Minnesota.

There's still a chance of a two- or three-way tie, which would necessitate one or more tiebreaker games. Maddon isn't fretting over numerous possible outcomes.

"The only scenario is whatever helps us win tomorrow," Maddon said. "That's the only scenario that matters. And then, you just react to everything else."

Adam Lind had two hits and three RBI, and Brett Lawrie reached base four times as the Blue Jays continued to make life tough for the Rays, who start left-hander Matt Moore (16-4) on Sunday against Blue Jays rookie right-hander Todd Redmond (4-2).

"I'm totally confident in our guys," Maddon said. "I really believe that you're going to see the best side of Matt Moore tomorrow."

Moore is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts against Toronto this season and has lost just once to the Blue Jays in six career meetings.

"It's a big game, big opportunity," Moore said. "I'm looking to throw up zeros any way I can."

Redmond was born in St. Petersburg, where his parents once were Rays season ticket holders.

"We have a chance to knock them out," Redmond said. "That's baseball. Hopefully we can pull it off."

Maddon insisted his bullpen is in good shape even after Saturday's starter, Chris Archer, lasted just 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who allowed one run and five hits, is 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA in his last six starts.

Happ (5-7) pitched a season-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits to win for the first time since Sept. 7 at Minnesota.

"It feels really good," Happ said. "I've been working and battling and feeling like I was close. I feel like finally the last several starts I've kind of been putting it together. It feels good to end on a good note."

Tampa Bay opened the scoring for the second straight game when Ben Zobrist hit a leadoff double in the first and scored when Wil Myers singled off the glove of Lawrie at third.

Lind's RBI single tied it in the third as the Blue Jays started the inning with three straight singles off Archer, who left after striking out Sierra. Alex Torres (4-2) came on and stranded runners at second and third.

Lind made it 3-1 with a two-out, two-run single down the third base line off Torres in the fourth, and the Blue Jays pulled away with a four-run fifth.

Anthony Gose led off with a single and scored when Goins homered off Jamey Wright. Ryan Langerhans singled and, one out later, Pillar homered off Brandon Gomes.

Aaron Loup came on after pinch-hitter Tim Beckham singled in the eighth and needed just five pitches to finish the inning.

Dustin McGowan gave up Delmon Young's RBI grounder in the ninth as the Blue Jays evened their home record at 40-40.


The Rays lost consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 10-11 against Boston. ... Lawrie went 2 for 3 and walked twice. ... Lind returned to the lineup at DH after missing two games with a sore back. He was replaced by pinch-hitter Munenori Kawasaki in the fifth. ... Rays SS Yunel Escobar (left ankle) started for the first time since Tuesday. ... Blue Jays assistant GM Jay Sartori is leaving the team next month for a job with Apple Inc.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Joe Madden's Rays fail to hold their early lead, and fall back into a two-way tie for the second AL wild-card spot. (USATSI)
Joe Madden's Rays fail to hold their early lead, and fall back into a two-way tie for the second AL wild-card spot. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

W. Myers
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

K. Pillar
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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Tampa Bay Rays
Ben Zobrist, 2B-CF4120001 .277
Sean Rodriguez, LF3000102 .249
Wil Myers, RF4121002 .293
Evan Longoria, 3B4000023 .266
Delmon Young, DH4001001 .259
Yunel Escobar, SS4000010 .255
James Loney, 1B3010000 .301
Jose Molina, C2000011 .237
   a-Desmond Jennings, PH1000000 .252
   Jose Lobaton, C0000000 .249
Sam Fuld, CF2000011 .194
   b-Tim Beckham, PH-2B1010000 .429
Chris Archer, P0000000 .000
   Alex Torres, P0000000 .000
   Jamey Wright, P0000000 .000
   Brandon Gomes, P0000000 .000
   Cesar Ramos, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Molina in the 8th
b-singled for Fuld in the 8th
2B - Ben Zobrist (36, Happ), Wil Myers (21, McGowan), James Loney (33, Happ)
RBI - Wil Myers (52), Delmon Young (36)
Team LOB - 4
Tampa Bay Rays
Chris Archer 2.1511140 3.22
Alex Torres (L,4-2) 1.1222020 1.71
Jamey Wright 0.2433121 3.09
Brandon Gomes 0.2111121 6.52
Cesar Ramos 3000050 4.14
WP - Alex Torres (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Archer 64-42, Alex Torres 23-17, Jamey Wright 31-16, Brandon Gomes 25-15, Cesar Ramos 31-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Archer 3-0, Alex Torres 1-1, Cesar Ramos 3-1
Batters Faced - Chris Archer 13, Alex Torres 6, Jamey Wright 7, Brandon Gomes 4, Cesar Ramos 9
Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Reyes, SS5110012 .294
Brett Lawrie, 3B3020200 .251
Adam Lind, DH3023011 .287
   a-Munenori Kawasaki, PH-DH2000021 .230
Moises Sierra, RF4010034 .288
Anthony Gose, CF4110013 .252
Ryan Goins, 2B4112022 .263
Ryan Langerhans, 1B3220100 .286
Josh Thole, C4000033 .176
Kevin Pillar, LF4222021 .204
J.A. Happ, P0000000 .000
   Aaron Loup, P0000000 .000
   Dustin McGowan, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Lind in the 5th
HR - Ryan Goins (2, Wright), Kevin Pillar (3, Gomes)
RBI - Adam Lind 3 (67), Ryan Goins 2 (8), Kevin Pillar 2 (13)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Lind 2 (27)
SB - Anthony Gose (4, 2nd base off Wright/Molina), Ryan Langerhans (1, 2nd base off Wright/Molina)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Reyes-Goins-Langerhans
PB - Josh Thole (9)
Toronto Blue Jays
J.A. Happ (W,5-7) 7.1511140 4.56
Aaron Loup 0.2000000 2.47
Dustin McGowan 1111010 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 113-70, Aaron Loup 5-4, Dustin McGowan 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 7-10, Aaron Loup 1-1, Dustin McGowan 1-1
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 27, Aaron Loup 2, Dustin McGowan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 33232
Game Time - 3:18
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper