The Blue Jays were threatening to erase the Rays’ 3-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday, but the game ended when Jose Bautista was called out for slide interference.
Facing Rays reliever Alex Colome, Ryan Goins led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield single and advanced to second with one out on a Josh Donaldson single to center. Bautista then drew a walk to load the bases, bringing up Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion hit a grounder to third baseman Evan Longoria, who tossed to Logan Forsythe at second base. Forsythe avoided Bautista, but Bautista reached out his hand at the last second and grabbed Forsythe’s foot, causing him to make a poor throw to first base.
Two runs scored on the play, but the Rays issued a challenge, suggesting Bautista deliberately interfered with Forsythe. The umpires agreed after reviewing the play, saying that he did interfere and didn’t make an attempt to stay on second base, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. Bautista was out at second and Encarnacion was out at first base, ending the game in a 3-2 Rays win.
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After the game, Bautista said that player safety should be of concern, but added, “I just don’t see how my play was unsafe,” Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. More from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:
Jays manager John Gibbons made a comment that he will likely regret tomorrow. Per Topkin:
Needless to say, Gibbons’ statement is sexist and unacceptable in the year 2016.
Three days into the regular season, we’ve already had three controversial slide-related incidents. It will likely calm down as the season progresses and players get used to the ways they can and cannot slide according to the updated rules.