TORONTO (AP) - Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called Friday’s shutout loss to Tampa Bay “a lousy game.”
Unfortunately for Gibbons and his team, it was the latest in a long line of lousy efforts in an August slide that’s threatening to derail Toronto’s once-promising season.
Drew Smyly pitched a two-hitter for his first career complete game and retired the final 19 batters, leading the Rays over the struggling Blue Jays 8-0 on Friday night.
“I figured we’d come out there tonight with a little more energy,” Gibbons said. “We didn’t have it and we made some mistakes.”
Toronto is nine games behind Baltimore in the AL East and 4 1/2 games out of the second AL wild card spot.
Marcus Stroman (7-5) was hit hard for the second straight outing as the Blue Jays fell to an AL-worst 5-13 in August.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Stroman said. “I couldn’t keep my team in it today to get a win.”
Stroman would have needed to be especially sharp to give the Blue Jays any chance against Smyly, who didn’t allow another baserunner after Steve Tolleson’s two-out single in the third.
“We couldn’t get anything going off Smyly,” Gibbons said.
Smyly (8-10) is 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts since being joining the Rays in the July 31 trade that sent David Price to Detroit.
“He had everything going on,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “You could see from the beginning he was going to pitch well all night. It was just obvious.”
Evan Longoria homered, doubled, singled and drove in three runs, and Wil Myers also homered as the Rays began a stretch of 26 straight games against AL East opponents with a comfortable win.
Kevin Kiermaier added three hits for the Rays, who chased Stroman while taking a 7-0 lead in the sixth.
Pitching on six days’ rest after giving up five runs while getting just two outs against the Chicago White Sox last Friday, Stroman was tagged for a career-worst 10 hits. The rookie, winless in four starts, walked three and struck out six.
“I’m just in a little bit of a rough stretch here,” Stroman said.