Aw nuts, another loss

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Even a little offence would have gone a long way for the Jays yesterday, but these days even a little offence is a lot to ask from this group.

The Jays bats remained in a September slumber that followed an August skid, thanks in part to a solid outing by Tampa Bay left-hander Scott Kazmir.

The streaking Devil Rays managed to do just enough to win 1-0 and take two of three games in the series. It was the Jays' fifth consecutive series loss.

Hard-luck man of the afternoon was starter Dave Bush who, like Josh Towers on Saturday, deserved a win but didn't get one.

"I have no problem being outduelled in a pitchers' battle," Bush said. "(Kazmir) was one run better than me today. There's not a whole lot to feel sorry for or disappointed about. A couple of singles and a sac fly scored a run. It's not too often that just that is going to beat you."

Bush might not have been overly disappointed but shortstop Russ Adams, speaking on behalf of the struggling offence, certainly was.

"It's tough to have Dave go out there and throw the way he threw and not produce for him," Adams said. "It seems like we've struggled with that for the past week or so and hopefully we can crawl out of that."

Manager John Gibbons balked at suggestions he try something goofy to light a fire under his club like letting the starting pitcher fill out that night's lineup or draw his lineup from a hat.

"No, I've heard of that but no, I wouldn't want to make a mockery of this," Gibbons said.

It could easily be argued that his offence already is doing that by themselves.

The Jays managed just 16 hits and six runs in three games with the D-Rays this weekend.

"We're due. We're overdue," Gibbons said."These guys can hit. We've all seen them hit. Believe it or not, what happens, when you struggle as a whole, everyone tries to do that much more. It may not always look like that but you start to press a little bit."

Right now, you would have to say the Jays are pressing a lot.

"It's a team effort," Gibbons said refusing to single out his offence for the team's shortcomings -- they've won just four of their past 16 games.

"You win together you lose together" Gibbons said. "That offence has carried this pitching many times this year."

The lone run of the game came in the second inning when Travis Lee singled with one out, moved to third as he was running with the pitch on a Damon Hollins single, and then scored on a Toby Hall sac fly to centre.

The fact that manufactured run came immediately following a wasted second-and-third, nobody-out scenario for the Jays in the previous inning only further underlines the kind of struggles this team is going through.


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