The Basement Blue Jays conceded another win as the losing streak now reaches five games

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Yes it’s May and yes it’s only been a week of deplorable baseball so go ahead and be as dismissive as you want.

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But the league tables don’t lie: The Toronto Blue Jays are, and play, a last-place baseball team.

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Monday night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., saw a losing streak that has now reached five (and seven of the last eight) and was once again fraught with sloppy and unexplained disasters.

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The Tampa Bay Rays, who took first place, were welcome recipients of the Jays’ blunders — particularly first baseman Vlad Guerrero’s first two errors this season, which resulted in four unearned runs against starter Chris Bassitt.

Guerrero’s errors not only ended the right-hander’s scoreless innings streak at 28, but also helped the Jays suffer a 6-4 loss that left the visitors 9.5 games behind the pace-setting Rays.

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There were signs of life – most notably the return of Kevin Kiermaier’s outfield brilliance, a four-hit evening from Whit Merrifield and a ninth-inning rally that offered the potential for a tie and win on base – but there wasn’t enough, to improve the Jays against the best team in MLB.

And now a team with so much potential and sky-high expectations is just two games over .500 at 25-23. For a team that was eight games above .500 at the end of April, that was quite a drop.

The Jays have plenty of time to settle in, but don’t think everything’s fine just because it’s early. Manager John Schneider’s side have now lost 11 of their last 12 against AL East opponents, including a 1-7 record over the last eight days.

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It’s the last time the Jays are bottom in the division since 2017, an obvious concern despite the time remaining.

Sure, it’s a team that pushes, but it also makes far too many mistakes — whether on defense or on bases — for a team that’s thought to have made the leap from pure talent to competitor has.

And the offense has continued to get absurdly out of hand, especially given a line-up that looks far more impressive on paper than it has of late. Until they added two runs in the ninth set to make things somewhat interesting, they were on track to hitting three runs or fewer in six of their last seven contests.

Meanwhile, the Rays continue to make good progress despite a series of injuries, improving their home record to 22-4. The Jays are now 12-14 away after a disappointing 4-6 home game and have three more games to play against the Rays while hitting a smashing 17-game-in-17-day-12 streak on Tuesday night’s Trop.

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BAD VLAD

Tough enough that Guerrero has lost his clout of late, but the Gold Glove first baseman couldn’t have picked a worse time for his first two errors of the season.

The first of these came when Guerrero failed to get Bassitt out of the inning after he botched a shot by second baseman Merrifield. Not only did it score a run, but it also set the stage for a two-run home run by the next Rays hitter, Jose Siri.

In the very next inning, Guerrero parried a Bassitt throw, resulting in another deserved run as the Jays’ self-inflicted wounds continued to pile up.

The four unearned runs went to Guerrero, contrasting with a reasonably solid defense that had allowed just 20 total runs before Monday’s competition.

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BASSITT STREAK ENDS

In fairness, Bassitt’s streak would end an inning or two later anyway, since he wasn’t as sharp as he’s been lately, was beaten by the Rays for seven hits and allowed three homers in his 6.1 innings .

Bassitt’s streak, stopped at 28, was the longest active in the majors and the second-longest single-season streak in franchise history after Rogers Clemens’ 33 innings in 1998. The longest run by a Jays starter was Dave Steib’s 34 innings which spanned the 1988 and 1989 seasons.

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Bassitt hit 104 batters during his impressive five-start streak, including three goalless appearances before Monday. He was beaten for six carries but earned only two, hitting four and walking one.

AROUND THE BASE

Bo Bichette failed two double plays to take the Jays’ total to 11 since May 14, the most in the majors… In the pre-game trop, rehabilitating pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chad Green were spotted doing their best recovery at the team facility in Dunedin. Schneider told reporters in St. Pete that both are scheduled to have bullpen sessions Tuesday… The Jays are leading the majors in extra-inning games and have a 4-4 record… However, we still believe the trade with Daulton Varsho has a chance to work out , Sportsnet added some salt to the wounds during an update away from the city by revealing that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (who joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the deal that brought Varsho to Toronto) hit his eighth home run of the season… And as if on cue, Varsho hit his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot in the ninth inning that flew 446 feet and set the stage for a potential rally. The Jays brought in the crucial runner in Danny Jansen, the youngest hero. After the Jays catcher showed up, pitch hitter Brandon Belt hit a single to put the Jays on two runs and leadoff hitter George Springer walked to cover bases. Bichette couldn’t be the hero, however, as a gentle ground ball back to the mound ended the game.

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