ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays' first win of the season ended in the most unusual manner. Second baseman Logan Forsythe hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Rays edged the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Tuesday night at Tropicana Field thanks to a rare walk-off reversal. With the bases loaded in the ninth, Forsythe threw wide of first while attempting a game-ending double play. The errant throw at first allowed two runs to score, giving Toronto a 4-3 lead. However, the Rays challenged the play, arguing that Jose Bautista's slide into second pushed Forsythe and forced the throw wide. The reversal after a video review took two runs off the scoreboard and gave the Rays a win. "What are we, trying to turn the game in to a joke? It's a flat-out embarrassment," Jays manager John Gibbons said after the loss. "Baseball's been a hard-nosed game. ... There's really no explanation for it. I don't get it. We had a chance to win and take the lead. It's a joke. It's a shame." Forsythe said he felt Bautista make contact with him as he threw, though he initially thought it was the runner's foot and not his hand, as replays showed. "It might be the first game that was a W because of the double-play rule that's in effect. It was wild," Forsythe said. "I felt something on the slide. ... He swung me around a little bit. I didn't think he put his hand out." Batista, while not as upset as Gibbons, shared the sentiment that the ruling was "an embarrassment," saying the rule goes against a player's instincts. "I didn't think it was illegal to make contact, let alone something so subtle and soft," he said. "I'm not going to put my hands on the ground and risk injury. I let my instincts take over. "Did I reach out to make him avoid me? Perhaps. Was that an illegal slide? My feet were straight at the bag. I felt I was within reach and slid directly to the bag. I felt like I respected the rule. I felt it was absolutely a clean slide. It's disappointing and somewhat embarrassing." The Rays (1-2) jumped ahead on Forsythe's shot to right field off reliever Brett Cecil, who had gone 38 appearances without giving up an earned run, matching Craig Kimbrel's major league record. Tampa Bay got 10 strikeouts from starter Jake Odorizzi to keep a potent Toronto lineup in check. Jays starter Aaron Sanchez threw seven strong innings, striking out eight while walking none and retiring the final 12 batters he faced in order. He gave up one run on five hits. Cecil hit Kevin Kiermaier to open the eighth inning, and with one out, Forsythe -- 0-for-8 in the first two games -- put the Rays back ahead with one swing. Rays reliever Alex Colome (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, then got into trouble in the ninth. He gave up an infield single by Ryan Goins that was misplayed by Forsythe. With one out, Josh Donaldson hit a broken-bat single up the middle to put two on for Bautista, who walked to load the bases for Edwin Encarnacion. The designated hitter's grounder to third resulted in the game-ending double play after the review and reversal. "We have a chance to split the series and hit the road," Forsythe said. "I think it's a great win for us all around." Cecil hadn't allowed an earned run since June of last season, a span of 32 2/3 innings until Tuesday, and the home run kept him from getting the scoreless-appearance record for himself. He also had retired 20 consecutive batters dating back to September before hitting Kiermaier. Toronto scored twice in the top of the fourth before Tampa Bay got a run back in the bottom of the inning. Bautista led off with a triple that was misplayed by Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr., who dived well short of the ball and had to chase it down. Tampa Bay looked to have a play at the plate as Bautista sped home on a grounder to the pitcher's right, but Odorizzi rushed the throw for an error, producing the game's first run. Encarnacion made it to second on the bad throw, and he came around to score on Michael Saunders' single with one out for a 2-0 lead. Tampa Bay pulled within a run on a solo home run to right by Corey Dickerson, who now has two home runs in his first three games with the Rays, though those are his only hits in his first 12 at-bats. The Rays had runners at second and third with one out in the third, but Logan Morrison grounded out weakly to the pitcher and Evan Longoria struck out to end the inning. Odorizzi struck out 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings, leaving after 111 pitches. He held Toronto to two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks. NOTES: Two of Toronto's three home runs in Monday were a long time coming -- Josh Thole's was his first since 2013 and Michael Saunders hit his first since 2014, though he missed most of last season with injuries. ... Saunders became the 11th Canadian-born player to hit a home run for Toronto, including current teammate Russell Martin. ... The Rays stuck with CF Kevin Kiermaier in the No. 8 spot in the batting order, even though he was 4-for-7 in the first two games. 2B Logan Forsythe was 0-for-8 as the leadoff batter and 1B Logan Morrison was 0-for-6 batting second.
Replay reversal seals Rays' win over Jays
The Sports Xchange | Apr 5