The Rays (25-19) could not muster enough base runners tonight, losing to the Toronto Blue Jays (22-21). Wade Davis (4-4) went 7.2 innings, allowing 3 runs. Davis looked in control through most of the game, but in the 7th inning hit rough waters. Aaron Hill flied out to start the inning, then Davis issued his first walk of the night (to Juan Rivera) and then hung a slow and meaty slider with which J.P. Arencibia played NASA, launching into center field sky.
Going into the game, it appeared Davis would be looking to cull a few more strikeouts, but unfortunately only mustered three. The fear was his decent walk rate, combined with his bad K-rate and good home run luck, would combine for some non-solo homers -- and that's precisely what cost the Rays the win tonight.
Opposing Davis, Ricky Romero (4-4) lived up to his billing, pitching 7 complete innings and striking out 6 Rays hitters. He allowed only one run on a B.J. Upton homer, but otherwise pitched masterfully.
Notes from the game:
- Both B.J. Upton and Kelly Shoppach homered -- Upton pulling one to left, Shoppach flipping one to right. Upton now has 7 homers on the season. Extrapolated over 600 plate appearances, that would total exactly 25 home runs.
- Dan Johnson went hitless in his 3 plate appearances and was then pulled in the 7th inning for Casey Kotchman (following Romero's exit). The Rays appear to be giving Johnson a nearly Joe Dillon-esque treatment at this point, suggesting he my face the ax when J.P. Howell shuffles the roster around tomorrow.
- Juan Cruz came in with runners on 2nd and 3rd in the bottom of the eighth, making a clutch out and heads up defensive play on a funky bouncer. The 2011 Rays bullpen continues to impress this year, once again proving you don't need to bank to close.