Rays Fail To Take Advantage Of 11 Walks In Loss To Toronto; Cash Addressed Kiermaier, ‘Jays Pitching Chart Situation

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays entered Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays with a magic number of two to clinch a playoff spot and six to win the American League East.

Depending on the outcome of a late-night game between Oakland and Seattle, those numbers will remain the same. That is thanks to the Rays falling to Toronto, 4-2, at the Trop and the Yankees and Red Sox winning their games.

The Rays had plenty of chances, but could not take advantage of 11 walks and a hit batter issued by Blue Jays pitchers. Starter Alek Manoah walked six and hit Austin Meadows in the fifth inning.

With two out in the ninth, closer Jordan Romano walked the bases loaded before getting Joey Wendle to fly out to right and end the game.

“We had guys on base and other than (Brandon Lowe’s RBI single in the second) we couldn’t get anything going,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “We had opportunities and we were not able to get that big hit or multiple hits.”

Manoah blanked the Rays over eight innings in Toronto’s 8-1 win September 13 at Rogers Centre. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound righty allowed only one hit, did not walk a batter and fanned 10.

On Tuesday night, Manoah walked four batters and allowed two hits in the first two innings. The Rays, however, could scratch out only one run and left five runners on base. For the game, the Rays were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 12.   

Drew Rasmussen allowed two runs in five innings marking the first time since he joined the rotation in Boston on August 12 that he allowed more than one run.

Lourdes Gurriel, Jr’s. solo home run in the fifth off Rasmussen gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead.

“It wasn’t good enough, unfortunately,” Rasmussen said of his outing. “I didn’t feel like I was overly sharp tonight.” 

The Rays took Rasmussen, who allowed only four hits and walk, off the hook by tying the game in their half of the fifth. The Blue Jays scored the decisive run in the sixth off Nick Anderson when Bo Bichette’s sacrifice fly scored Marcus Semien.

“That was a tough one,” said Mike Zunino, who had a single and a double. “It is one of those things where we will continue to keep working and get back at it tomorrow.”

The series concludes Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is 3:10. 


After he was thrown out at home during Monday night’s win over the Blue Jays, Kevin Kiermaier picked up the pitching chart that fell from catcher Alejandro Kirk’s wrist band. Kiermaier took it to the dugout and gave to field coordinator Paul Hoover.

In a story that ran Tuesday on Sportsnet, Kiermaier said that, at first, he thought it was his defensive chart. Realizing it was not, he gave it to Hoover. The Blue Jays sent a batboy to the Rays dugout to retrieve it. Thinking Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, a former Rays coach and friend of manager Kevin Cash, was joking around, the Rays did not give it back.

For his part, Cash said he had no idea what the situation was about until prior to Tuesday’s game. He then apologized to Toronto general manager Ross Atkins, pitching coach Pete Walker and Montoyo.

“I had no idea we had the card,” he said following Tuesday’s game. “I expressed that to Ross, Charlie and Pete Walker. But I take full responsibility and I apologized to all of them. Charlie and I go back and forth a lot during the game and I thought he was joking.”

Tom Layberger is a contributing writer for forbes.com and The Tampa Free Press

Tom Layberger has been a sports writer and editor since 1990. Among the companies he has worked for are Beckett Publishing, The Topps Company and Comcast. In addition to being a contributing writer for sportstalkflorida.com, Tom also writes for forbes.com and Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs and a University of South Florida grad, Tom is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation. He resides in Tampa.