Kevin Kiermaier

Kiermaier Hopes For Another Shot At The Blue Jays

ST. PETERSBURG, FL. – It appeared as though the kerfuffle over Kevin Kiermaier and the Blue Jays’ pitching data card was put to rest.

That proved not to be the case late in the Rays’ 7-1 and playoff-clinching win over Toronto on Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

The teams played seven and a half innings without a hint of any lingering issues. That was until Kiermaier led off the home half of the eighth and was plunked on the first pitch by Toronto reliever Ryan Borucki.

The benches cleared, but without incident. Borucki was ejected as was pitching coach Pete Walker, who was incensed his pitcher got the thumb.

“It was intentional,” said Kiermaier. “I thought if they were going to do it, it would have been the first at-bat. I thought it was a weak move.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash also thought it was intentional and said, “I thought there was a better way to handle that. I was hoping it was over. It wasn’t.”

After he was thrown out at home during Monday night’s win over the Blue Jays, Kiermaier picked up the pitching data card that fell from catcher Alejandro Kirk’s wrist band. Kiermaier took it to the dugout and gave it to field coordinator Paul Hoover.

When a Toronto batboy attempted to retrieve the card, the Rays joked around with him and did not give it back. Cash said he did not know that Kiermaier had picked up the card and thought Toronto manager, former Rays coach, and good friend, Charlie Montoyo, was pulling a little prank.

Cash later discovered otherwise and following Tuesday night’s game said that he apologized to Toronto general manager Ross Atkins, Walker, and Montoyo. It appeared as though it was over and done with.

Even Montoyo said it was “agua under the bridge.”

Before Wednesday’s game, Kiermaier was asked if he thought he would get hit during Tuesday’s game.

“They could do whatever they want,” he said. “That wasn’t my thought. Whatever happens, happens and we will go from there.”

Getting plunked happened, and nearly three hours into Wednesday’s game when it was clear the Blue Jays were not likely to come back from a six-run deficit.

“I think it was uncalled for,” said Brandon Lowe. “I think it was kind of bush league. It was extremely uncalled for.”

The Rays went 11-8 in the season series against Toronto. The teams could meet again in the postseason as Toronto is battling for a wild-card spot.

“I hope we play those guys, I really do,” said Kiermaier. “The motivation is there. That is all that needs to be said.”

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