- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Logan Forsythe and the Tampa Bay Rays ended up on the right side of a new rule.

Baseball’s recent change in regulations on breaking up double plays took all of three days to swing the outcome of a game this season, giving Forsythe and the Rays a disputed 3-2 victory over Toronto that left Blue Jays manager John Gibbons fuming.

“It might be the first game that was a ‘W’ because of the double-play rule that’s in effect,” Forsythe said. “It was wild.”

With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion hit a grounder to third. After taking a throw from Evan Longoria for the force at second, Forsythe made an errant relay to first that appeared to allow the go-ahead run to score for the Blue Jays.

Rays manager Kevin Cash asked for a replay review, claiming Jose Bautista violated the new “Chase Utley Rule” governing slides on potential double plays.

Replay umpires in New York ruled Bautista’s slide was not directly into the bag and it illegally hindered Forsythe. The call was changed to a game-ending double play that preserved Tampa Bay’s victory.

“I felt something on the slide,” Forsythe said. “When I first saw him coming in, I thought he was going over the bag, but then I didn’t know if he kicked his foot out to try and catch a back foot. He kind of swung me around a little bit, the throw went a little left.”

Major League Baseball recently altered the rule on such slides, hoping to prevent a repeat of the takeout by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley that broke the leg of New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during last year’s playoffs.

“As far as I know, just because the rule has changed in some ways, or has been adjusted, and attention to its application has been heightened,” Bautista said, “I didn’t think it was illegal to make contact when it was something so subtle and so soft.”

Gibbons stated it a little stronger.

“You’re going to end a game like that? I mean really, it’s a joke. It’s a shame,” he said. “I get the intent - you go after somebody, you’re going to hurt somebody because of the Utley, I get that. But that’s baseball. That’s been baseball forever.”

The call was overturned after a delay of 1 minute, 30 seconds.

An announcement in the press box explained that the replay umpire definitively determined the runner violated rule 6.01 (j), that the runner’s actions hindered and impeded the fielder. It was also determined that Bautista did not engage in a bona fide slide, as he did not attempt to remain on the base.

“My feet were aiming straight at the bag. I felt like my feet were within range. I slid directly to the bag, I didn’t go directly at him,” Bautista said. “I feel like I respected the rule, that it was an absolutely clean slide. And it’s just disappointing and somewhat embarrassing to lose a major league baseball game, with so much at stake.”

Forsythe hit an opposite-field, two-run homer in the eighth inning to put the Rays ahead.

His drive off Brett Cecil (0-1) ended the reliever’s run of 38 straight appearances without allowing an earned run, dating to June 24. The left-hander’s stretch was tied with Craig Kimbrel (2011 with Atlanta) for the longest in the majors since earned runs became an official stat in 1912 in the National League and one year later in the American League.

Corey Dickerson homered for the Rays, who avoided their second 0-3 start (2011). Alex Colome (1-0) went two innings to get the win.

But after the game, everyone was talking about Bautista’s slide.

“That’s going to go down in history as probably the first one to end the game, and hopefully they’ll look at that a little better,” Gibbons said.

“Maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow,” he lamented. “Maybe that’s what everybody’s looking for.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) could throw off a mound next week.

THE STARTERS

Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez allowed one run and five hits while striking out eight over seven innings. Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi gave up two runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out 10 and walked two.

Odorizzi won his season debut the previous two years with scoreless starts. He went 6 2-3 innings against Baltimore last season, and six innings against Texas in 2014.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ and Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore are the scheduled starters for the series finale Wednesday.

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