No wonder the Tampa Bay Rays had trouble knocking in runs Monday night, what with umpires taking their bats and all.
The Rays left 14 runners stranded on base in an 8-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, leaving them loaded in the second and eighth inning and seeing an early 3-1 lead evaporate. Toronto broke open a 3-3 game with four runs in the sixth inning.
For the Rays, one of the strangest plays of the night came when shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was thrown out of the game in the fifth inning by umpire Joe West for protesting a balls-and-strikes call. Cabrera was so irate he tossed his helmet and bat, which West quickly gathered up and took to the umpire’s room.
“Bad conduct does not deserve comment,” West said after the game.
Still, why would he take the bat and helmet?
“Maybe he wanted him to sign them,” suggested Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “That’s a first for me.”
Centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier had three of the Rays’ 11 hits and improved his average to .260. Three of Toronto’s hits were home runs. The Rays have now allowed 16 and eight runs in their last two home games.
“They just did a better job getting the big hits than we did,” said Kiermaier. “As the game went on, it got more frustrating.”
The Rays did have a nice moment. Reliever Steve Geltz set a franchise record by retiring his 28th straight batter, beating Kyle Farnsworth’s mark by two. For Geltz, 21 of the outs have come since he was kissed by Paula Abdul after she threw out the first pitch.
Tampa Bay will play Toronto again today at 7:10 with Chris Archer on the mound against R.A. Dickey. The Rays hope to avoid a losing streak as long as three games for only the third time this season.