Well, the Jays put up a decent fight but came up short again this afternoon. Luis Perez managed to escape a few jams, allowing four walks and five hits, but yielding only two earned runs over five innings. He got some help from the defence but overall did an acceptable, if not exceptional, job and managed to strand loaded bases in the bottom of the fifth by striking out Ben Zobrist.
The real damage occurred after Perez was lifted, first against Shawn Camp in the sixth and then off Jesse Litsch in the seventh. Camp, to put it quite simply, was dreadfully ineffective today. He only gave up one run, that is largely because the Rays managed to bunt into a double play. Even with the two free outs, Camp still couldn't manage to escape the inning unscathed. Litsch was also bad, walking two batters and then giving up a three-run homer to B.J. Upton, putting the Rays up 6-2. Casey Janssen and Frank Francisco were solid, if unspectacular, to close out the game.
The Jays bats woke up some (seven hits, five for extra bases!, plus three walks), but were mainly scattered. Jose Bautista drove in a run with a double in the first, but failed to score from second after Adam Lind lined a single and the Jays couldn't cash him from third with just one out. J.P. Arencibia had two RBI. He drove one run in on double in the fourth and drove in Brett Lawrie (who had tripled) in the seventh on a groundout. Of course, an RBI groundout hardly helps the team when it is losing 6-2 in the seventh, but it is better than a strikeout. Eric Thames and Edwin Encarnacion each hit
back-to-back homers in the eighth to make it close but the Jays just couldn't come all the way back.
J.P. Arencibia had a great day behind the plate, making some nice blocks and gunning down three baserunners. Brett Lawrie made a nice play on Kelly Shoppach's bunted double play, corralling a bit of a high throw from Camp to get the force at third and then firing a strike to Lind to get Shoppach at first.
Lind Kelly Johnson threw back to Lawrie and they almost ended up getting a triple play (Sean Rodriguez advanced from first to third on the play) but couldn't. Bautista did throw out Rodriguez at third two innings later when he tried to advance two bases following an errant pickoff attempt from Janssen. Aggressive baserunning is fun to watch, but I don't know how much it necessarily helps the team -- I loved Johnny Mac as much as the next guy (okay, maybe not quite as much), but it was certainly one thing that made me grind my teeth when I watched him.
JotD: No one had the numbers, but I'm giving it to J.P. (-0.004) for nabbing the three attempted steals and his RBI double. Honorable mentions go to Encarnacion (.069) and Thames (.068), who were closest.
Suckage awards go to Litsch (-.240), Camp (-.099), Dewayne Wise (-.139) and Yunel Escobar (-.134), mostly because they were the last batters of the game (also why J.P.A. had a negative WPA, his last plate appearance lost him .092).
Thanks to the Weakerthans for today's post title.