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Blue Jays throw away series finale against Rays and ship Gurriel to Buffalo

Blue Jays throw away series finale against Rays and ship Gurriel to Buffalo
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Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s defensive struggles came to a head as the Blue Jays dropped an 8-4 decision — and the weekend series — to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon.

The 25-year-old second baseman started the day running through pre-game fielding drills with coaches Luis Rivera and John Schneider, and finished it on the way to the minors to improve his glovework. Veteran infielder Eric Sogard is expected to join the club from Triple-A Buffalo on Monday.

“It’s a young kid struggling mentally with his throwing right now,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said before the move was announced. “I talked to him. He says, ‘Yeah, I feel it.’ We’ve got to be careful with that.”

The Blue Jays were up 1-0 in the third inning when, after a leadoff single by Tampa’s Michael Perez, starter Marcus Stroman struck out red-hot Austin Meadows and Yandy Diaz, then induced a ground ball to second by Ji-Man Choi that could have ended the frame. But Gurriel bounced the throw for his second error in as many days, pulling first baseman Justin Smoak off the bag and allowed Choi to reach safely. Stroman, already at 54 pitches, needed another 15 to escape — with the Rays tying it up on a Brandon Lowe single. Alen Hanson came on as a defensive replacement for Gurriel an inning later.

“It’s tough. I’ve seen it before and people have worked through it, so hopefully he can work through it,” Montoyo said. “You could tell it got bad and he knows it, so that’s why we took him out of the game.”
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