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Jays let six-run lead slip away, lose to Rays in extra innings

Trent Thornton of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 6, 2019 in St Petersburg, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Trent Thornton of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 6, 2019 in St Petersburg, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Six wasn’t enough.

Not for the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, where a 6-0 lead against the high-octane Tampa Bay Rays meant nothing in the end, with Toronto losing 7-6.

The Jays fell in the bottom of the tenth inning after the Rays loaded the bases. With two out, Kevin Kiermaier scored on a wild pitch by Buddy Boshers (0-2), the ball scooting past catcher Danny Jansen.

Jays starter Trent Thornton fell apart in the fourth inning, giving up six runs, all on home runs.

The Rays collected eight hits off Thornton in his 32/3 innings, which included one walk and two strikeouts.

“He was going good and all of a sudden he couldn’t stop the damage,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “That’s what he needs to learn, even more in the big leagues. If something goes wrong, you have to still pitch and relax a little bit and he couldn’t do it.”

What would a Jays game be without more records set or broken by Bo Bichette in his eye-popping start in the majors?

When Bichette doubled with two out in the seventh, he became the first player in major-league history to record 10 extra-base hits in his first nine games.

“When I hear stuff like that, you start thinking of (Roberto) Clemente, Babe Ruth,” Montoyo said. “It’s amazing. I’m glad I was here to watch that. A lot of good players who played this game already (didn’t accomplish that), so that’s pretty cool.”

Bichette joined Carlos Delgado, who did it in 2000, as the only Jays to double in seven consecutive games.

And when Bichette singled to lead off the third, he extended his hitting streak to nine games, the longest streak by a Jay to start his career.

The symmetry in which a 6-0 Jays lead evaporated in the fourth inning was something to behold, though we would guess Thornton would disagree.

The Rays tied the game 6-6 with three two-run home runs, by, in order, Avisail Garcia, Willy Adames and Austin Meadows. Each was preceded by a single and each was followed by an out.

Thornton was gone after Meadows’ shot to right, relieved by Sam Gaviglio, who struck out Jesus Aguliar to end the inning.

“When we have a six-run lead, I have to be better than that,” Thornton said. “It just came down to three pitches that were over the heart of the plate. They weren’t well executed at all. If I execute those pitches, it could be a completely different story. I have to learn from it and move on.”

GAME ON

The Jays lost on a walk-off wild pitch for the fourth time in team history and the first since 1982 … With runners on second and third in the ninth, the Rays’ Emilio Pagan struck out Bichette and Biggio … Jason Adam struck out Garcia with two out in the ninth and a runner on second … Bit of a strange offensive start for the Jays: The first five Toronto batters were struck out by Rays opener Andrew Kittredge, and the following three scored. Randal Grichuk, strong at the plate for the majority of this trip, singled with two out and Teoscar Hernandez walked. The next Toronto batter, Brandon Drury, smacked a 2-0 pitch on a line to the right-field seats for his 13th homer of the season, giving the Jays a 3-0 lead … Biggio hit his 10th home run with one out in the third off Ryan Yarbrough, giving him at least one hit in eight of his past 10 games … The Jays have had some trouble in the field in recent games, but it was the Rays who gifted a pair of runs in the fourth, allowing Toronto to increase its lead to six runs. A throwing error by third baseman Matt Duffy gave Hernandez and Drury the opportunity to race home … Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s career-high nine-game hitting streak came to an end as he struck out twice and went 0-for-5 … Freddy Galvis had an ugly night at the plate, striking out in all five of his at-bats … Gaviglio was sharp, giving up just two hits and striking out three in 31/3 innings … The Jays struck out 17 times.

DIAMOND DUST

Wilmer Font will open for the Jays on Wednesday in the series finale, but Montoyo was not sure who would relieve Font. The hope is that Font goes two innings … Bichette was the Jays’ designated hitter a day after fouling a ball of his left calf. Bichette, sporting a bruise on his leg, was taking grounders an hour before the game and looked fluid. Montoyo said Bichette will be back at shortstop on Wednesday … Justin Smoak was given the day off, and needed the break considering his recent struggles. In his seven previous games on this trip, Smoak was 2-for-24 (.083) with nine strikeouts. Six of those strikeouts came in the previous three games … When Bichette homered on Monday, he joined Delgado (1993) as the only Jays to hit three homers in their first eight games in the majors.

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