TORONTO (AP)—Stacked with young talent, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are still struggling to overcome their own mental mistakes.
A pair of eighth-inning errors led to four unearned runs, helping the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Devil Rays 5-3 on Saturday.
“We have to get beyond this,” said Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon. “This is the kind of game we have to win. These are the kind of mistakes that we’re trying to work though and not have pop up at critical moments like they did today.”
Toronto broke a 1-all tie with a four-run eighth against reliever Dan Wheeler (0-5). Reed Johnson started the rally by reaching base on a throwing error, Matt Stairs walked and Russ Adams, pinch hitting for Frank Thomas, bunted down the third base line. Wheeler fielded the ball and threw to Joel Guzman, but he couldn’t find first base with his foot.
“We messed it up totally,” Maddon said.
With the bases loaded, Aaron Hill hit a sacrifice fly and Lind connected to right-center.
“We tried going up and I just didn’t get it up,” said Wheeler, who instead left his pitch belt-high.
It was the second homer in as many games for Lind, who hit a two-run shot in Friday’s 5-4 victory.
“Lindy has been hot,” Hill said. “He’s definitely opened some eyes and maybe some doors, too.”
The errors weren’t the only problem for Tampa Bay.
Delmon Young was yanked for Greg Norton in the bottom of the sixth after failing to run out a grounder to third in the top of the inning, prompting an angry outburst by the volatile rookie outfielder.
“I’m not the only one doing it,” said Young, who has played in all 161 games this season but could be out of the lineup for the season finale. “I play every day. I don’t complain about going out there. I’ll see you guys next year because I’m shut down.”
Maddon said he had not made a decision regarding Young for Sunday.
“I haven’t told him anything yet,” Maddon said.
Hill singled to open the Toronto fourth, the first hit of the game against Tampa Bay starter Edwin Jackson. Lind grounded into a double play but Griffin followed with a solo home run as Toronto took a 1-0 lead.
The Devil Rays tied it in the fifth when Wilson walked and scored on a double by Akinori Iwamura.
Jackson allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, walked five and struck out six. It was just the second time in 31 starts this season that Jackson has worked seven innings or longer.
“He’s grown a lot this year,” Maddon said. “It’s something to look forward to next year.”
Toronto right-hander Jesse Litsch allowed one run and four hits in six innings. He walked four—one intentional—and struck out three.
“He’s done a tremendous job,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He has very little experience but he’s done everything right.”
Carlos Pena went 0-for-2 with three walks, becoming just the 11th player in AL history to collect at least 45 homers, 120 RBIs and 100 walks in a single season. Pena, who has 45 homers and 120 RBIs, has walked 102 times this season. ^Notes: Hill extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. … Downs has pitched in a career-high 81 games this season.