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|12:10 PM PT1:10 PM MT2:10 PM CT3:10 PM ET15:10 ET19:10 GMT3:10 12:10 PM MST2:10 PM EST2:40 PM VEN23:10 UAE2:10 PM CT, September 30, 2018
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 13,313
Blue Jays' Martin to manage versus Rays
John Gibbons is one of those special "baseball" guys that makes the game fun, makes it a little more interesting.
On Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla., Gibbons' second stay as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays comes to an end with the final game of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays, and Gibby is going out in style.
He's having veteran catcher Russell Martin manage the team.
"I'm having a little fun with it," Gibbons said Saturday. "Let him see how tough it is."
Technically, Martin will be a player/manager, but he hasn't played since Sept 3 as the Jays have been looking at younger players.
While the game will be an emotional one for Gibbons and the Jays, it really has some importance to the home team.
Blake Snell didn't win his 22nd of the season Saturday night, but the Rays won the game 4-3 for their 89th victory of the season -- thus giving them a shot at 90 in a year most people thought would be a washout.
They could reach 90 wins for the first time in five years.
On Saturday night, Tampa Bay notched its 50th home win.
Marco Estrada, slated to close the season and the Gibbons Era, was scratched with the sore back that has bothered him through much of the season. Sam Gaviglio will start against another Rays "opener," likely Ryne Stanek, with several relievers following.
"The good thing is it's nothing major," said Estrada, a free agent at the end of the season. "It's something the doctor feels it should be just fine. If we hit the right spot, this should be cleared away for a while. Pretty excited about it. He said, 'Keep doing your core program, all the stretching you can, and it should help.' I've stayed on it all year. Just sometimes it froze up."
As far as his future, the 35-year-old Estrada said: "Obviously, there's always a chance of me coming back. I'm not sure in which direction they're going, (or) if they want to go younger. It seems to be going that way. But I'm never right about these things. So I don't really know. But I definitely would love to hear from them again. I'm comfortable here. I do love this team."
Snell pitched five innings and struck out 10 in a no-decision Saturday night, finishing his season at 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA -- and apparently headed for the second Cy Young Award in franchise history.
He came up short Saturday in his bid to become the first pitcher since Justin Verlander in 2011 to win 10 straight starts.
"There's not really much debate in my opinion," said his manager, Kevin Cash.
Said Snell: "I have a good case."
The Rays' official Twitter account posted: Congrats to snellzilla4 on an outstanding season. We're rooting for you."
Toronto hitters struck out 18 times Saturday night.
Gaviglio is 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA this season and 0-3 in his last five starts. He is 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in three starts versus the Rays this season, dropping him to 1-2 with a 4.34 ERA in four career starts against Tampa Bay.
Cash said before Saturday's game that Matt Duffy and Ji-Man Choi likely would not play because of injuries.
Also before the game, Rays right-hander Andrew Kittredge learned he had been suspended for three games and fined for throwing behind Austin Romine on Thursday. That led to CC Sabathia plunking Jesus Sucre with Sabathia suspended for five games.
Kittredge said he might appeal, but both sentences would be served next season.
"I understand, I do, I get it," Cash said. "I had some really good conversations with MLB, (chief baseball officer) Joe Torre and (senior vice president, baseball operations) Peter Woodfork. And you know what? Kitt, from my understanding, will go through the appeals process and kind of let it be heard, his viewpoint. And then go from there."
Updated September 29, 2018