ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Another loss, another player on the Blue Jays' disabled list.
Thursday's 7-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays pretty much summed up Toronto's 2-8 road trip.
Matt Moore pitched six sharp innings for the Rays, who completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays. Third baseman Brett Lawrie went on Toronto's disabled list earlier Thursday, joining outfielder Jose Bautista, first baseman Adam Lind and catcher J.P. Arencibia.
``It's not a good feeling for anybody,' said first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, whose error opened a decisive three-run inning for the Rays. ``It's hard to have four players hurt like we do. It's not easy for the team, but we can't control that. We have to do the best we can do on the field.'
The Jays didn't help themselves Thursday with only three hits and a couple of sloppy errors.
The most costly error was on Encarnacion, who couldn't handle an easy ground ball hit by Ben Zobrist leading off the Tampa Bay second inning.
``Then you get another error (on left fielder Rajai Davis) on a fly ball that should be caught,' said manager John Farrell. ``We have to find a way to manufacture runs and we have to find ways to execute and put up a better performance than we've done on this road trip.'
The Blue Jays, who lost their 16th straight series at Tropicana Field, have lost 15 of their last 19 games overall.
``We're catching Toronto at the right time,' acknowledged Rays manager Joe Maddon. ``Toronto's got a lot of banged-up folks right now and we've gone through that ourselves.'
Davis opened the game with a double and scored Toronto's only run on the first balk of Moore's career. But after Moises Sierra led off the second inning with a single, Moore (9-7) retired 14 straight Jays. He left the game after six innings with a 6-1 lead.
Henderson Alvarez downplayed the significance of the error, but it started a big inning for the Rays. Two walks and singles by Jeff Keppinger and Jose Lobaton led to a three-run inning and two of the runs were unearned.
Alvarez (7-9) gave up 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Evan Longoria and Keppinger each had three of the Rays' 13 hits.
David Cooper's double with two out in the ninth was the only hit the Blue Jays got after the second inning.
Toronto will open a 10-game home stand Friday night against the New York Yankees. All 10 games will be against division leaders, and the Jays will have to play most of them without Lawrie, who needs more time to heal an injury in his rib/oblique area.
``This way it'll give him another eight days to address the situation and let the symptoms completely clear up rather than risking further injury,' Farrell explained.
NOTES: Lawrie is on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Aug. 4. ... Longoria's RBI double in the eighth inning prompted a review by the umpires, who determined that it had bounced off the top of a rail and back onto the field. ... The Rays have given up more than one run in only six of their last 19 games, posting a 1.59 earned run average in that stretch. ... Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann, on the disabled list since May 15 with a fractured right fibula, will make a second rehabilitation start Monday or Tuesday and hopes to return by the end of August.
The Associated Press News Service
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