ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Baseball’s new rule on breaking up double plays gave Logan Forsythe and the Tampa Bay Rays a disputed 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion hit a grounder to third base. 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 that Bautista did indeed slide inside the bag to illegally hinder Forsythe. The call was changed to a game-ending double play that preserved Tampa Bay’s victory.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons argued with umpires on the field before finally heading toward the clubhouse.
Major League Baseball recently changed 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.
Forsythe hit an opposite-field, two-run homer in the eighth inning.
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 the final two innings to get the win.
Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez, making his first start since June 5 and 12th overall, allowed one run, five hits and struck out eight over seven innings. He began 2015 in the rotation but went on the disabled list June 15 with a right lat strain.
The right-hander moved into the bullpen after returning in July.
Bautista had been 0 for 13 against Jake Odorizzi before hitting a leadoff triple in the fourth. He scored when Odorizzi was charged with an error for a bad throw to the plate on Encarnacion’s grounder.
Encarnacion took second on the play and later scored to put Toronto up 2-0 on Michael Saunders’ single.
Odorizzi gave up two runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out 10 and walked two.
Dickerson pulled the Rays to 2-1 on his second homer this season in the fourth.
Steve Geltz got a fly ball from Encarnacion with the bases loaded to end the seventh.
Blue Jays: Saunders, limited to nine games last season due to left knee injuries, started for the third consecutive game in left field on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) could throw off a mound next week.
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.
The Blue Jays have struck out 36 times in the first three games of the four-game series. Chris Archer had 12 strikeouts Sunday for the Rays.
Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ and Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore are the scheduled starters for the series finale Wednesday.