TORONTO—Two blowout losses, a series sweep, and a losing streak that’s showing no signs of ending.
The Blue Jays left Toronto after another loss to Tampa Bay last night searching for answers and hoping a return to the road will help them end a nasty funk.
R.A. Dickey gave up three home runs as the Rays doubled the Jays 6-3, handing them their fifth-straight loss.
“We ran into a team that has a lot of momentum,” Dickey said.
“They’re swinging the bat really well,” he noted. “We are not and we’re not pitching really well.
“When you combine those things together, you get swept.
“That’s part of baseball and that’s what’s hard about it,” Dickey added.
The Rays (19-19) recorded their first three-game sweep at Rogers Centre in almost three years.
Tampa Bay outscored Toronto 31-7 in the series and set a franchise record for a three-game set with 44 hits.
Logan Morrison and Desmond Jennings hit back-to-back homers in the fourth inning while Kevin Kiermaier added a two-run shot in the sixth.
Toronto (19-23) also extended its home losing streak to five games.
Morrison had three hits and scored twice while Evan Longoria and Tim Beckham chipped in with two hits apiece.
Tampa Bay outhit Toronto 10-4.
“It’s a lot easier to hit when you’re up there every other inning or every inning versus every third inning,” Morrison reasoned.
The Jays will try to turn things around today as they kick off a four-game series against the lowly Minnesota Twins, who are last in the American League at 10-29.
Jimmy Paredes, who played third base for Toronto with Josh Donaldson getting a rest day, hit a solo shot in the second inning off Rays’ starter Jake Odorizzi (1-2).
It was his first homer of the season.
Morrison’s no-doubt blast hit the facing of the second deck in right-centre field. Jennings followed with his third homer of the season.
It was the first time the Rays have hit consecutive homers this year.
“Hitting comes and goes,” Kiermaier said. “Right now it’s definitely in full force for us.
“Everyone is really starting to get on board.”
Odorizzi walked the first two batters in the bottom half of the frame and Paredes moved them both into scoring position on a groundout.
But Toronto stranded them as Kevin Pillar grounded out and Ryan Goins flied out.
“When you don’t cash in when you get some men on base, it’s tough,” said acting Jays’ manager DeMarlo Hale.
“We’re looking for things to change.
“This is a good club in here, [they’re] accomplished hitters who have done things in this game,” Hale added.
“There’s a trust factor that you definitely have.
“It doesn’t matter who’s on the mound [for the opposition],” he noted. “It will change and I’m looking forward to it.”
The Rays added a run in the fifth as Beckham led off with a double and scored when Paredes threw wide to first base.
Michael Saunders halved the deficit in the same inning with a solo shot.
The Jays made it interesting in the eighth as Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo shot and Justin Smoak followed with a two-out double to bring the potential tying run to the plate.
But Rays’ closer Alex Colome came on and struck out Troy Tulowitzki.
“You’re not going to see panic in here,” Dickey stressed.
“But at the same time, there is a sense of urgency that we need to start doing some things better—myself included—and we need to take ownership of that.
“We can’t walk around game after game and say, ‘Oh, we’re better than that,’” he added.
“We’ve got to go be better than that and I think everybody in here knows that.”
Elsewhere in the AL, Detroit doubled Minnesota 6-3, Oakland dumped Texas 8-1, Baltimore beat Seattle 5-3, and Houston downed Chicago 5-3.
Kansas City split a doubleheader with Boston, winning the first game 3-2 but losing the nightcap 5-2.
Over in the NL, Washington dumped New York 7-1, Philadelphia doubled Miami 4-2, Atlanta beat Pittsburgh 3-1, Chicago edged Milwaukee 2-1 (13 innings), St. Louis blanked Colorado 2-0, and San Francisco nipped San Diego 2-1.
Cleveland topped Cincinnati 8-7 (12 innings), the New York Yankees doubled Arizona 4-2, and the L.A. Angels dumped the L.A. Dodgers 8-1 in interleague play.