Blue Jays Wild Card Watch: Toronto loses ground to playoff rivals

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Ryan Borucki (56) looks on as he gives up a home run to Rays third baseman Joey Wendle (18) (USA TODAY Sports)
Ryan Borucki (56) looks on as he gives up a home run to Rays third baseman Joey Wendle (18) (USA TODAY Sports)

Welcome to Blue Jays Wild Card Watch, a daily snapshot of where Toronto stands in relation to its rivals in the playoff race. Each morning we'll briefly recap the previous night's action and tee up what comes next.

The Toronto Blue Jays got off on the wrong foot in their crucial series against the Tampa Bay Rays Monday, stranding the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a 6-4 loss.

Cy Young candidate Robbie Ray couldn't make it through five frames, flirting with danger at seemingly every turn before Tampa finally connected for a big blow in the form of a Yandy Díaz three-run homer.

The bullpen couldn't stop the bleeding, surrendering a run in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Marcus Semien made things interesting with a two-run homer in the ninth, but some questionable umpiring helped dash Toronto's comeback hopes.

With the loss, here's how the American League wild-card race currently looks:

The Blue Jays will aim to get back in the win column Tuesday night when they send Alek Manoah (3.39 ERA) to the mound. Manoah dominated the Rays last week at Rogers Centre, tossing eight innings of shutout, one-hit ball. Right-hander Drew Rasmussen (3.00 ERA) goes for the Rays.

Here's a look at how the other AL playoff hopefuls are looking:

Boston Red Sox

Last night's result: Off day

Tonight's matchup: Boston welcomes the New York Mets to Fenway Park for a late-season interleague clash. Eduardo Rodriguez (5.00 ERA) takes the bump for the Red Sox while the Blue Jays will be hoping old pal Marcus Stroman (2.88 ERA) can do them a favour and pitch a gem for the Mets.

New York Yankees

Last night's result: Gary Sanchez connected for a homer and the recently-wobbly New York bullpen combined for 4.2 scoreless innings to hold off the Texas Rangers, 4-3.

Tonight's matchup: The Yankees and Rangers resume their series in the Bronx. Jordan Montgomery (3.63 ERA) gets the nod for the home side while Texas counters with Dane Dunning (4.28 ERA).

Oakland Athletics

Last night's result: The Athletics saw their five-game winning streak come to an end as the Seattle Mariners climbed their way back into the playoff hunt with a 4-2 win.

Tonight's matchup: Oakland and Seattle continue their rivalry as the Mariners start Marco Gonzales against the Athletics' Paul Blackburn. The Blue Jays will be hoping these two teams go back and forth with wins to essentially seal both of their fates in the wild-card picture.

Seattle Mariners

See Athletics section.

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