A little Aaron Hill error isn’t about to convince me Brett Cecil isn’t still the greatest guy in the world. Cecil was strong in Tampa Bay last night, giving up just two earned runs over seven, but a Hill error on a Carl Crawford grounder extended the third inning before Carlos Pena’s three-run homer, which was enough damage in a 6-2 Rays win.
Cecil, fresh off eight strong innings in a win over the Yankees last week, lost the first time in seven starts against Tampa Bay and New York this season, falling to 5-1 and seeing his ERA bump to 2.19 in those outings. Sure, 7-0 would be better, but those numbers aren’t all that bad considering the Rays and Yankees have laid a combined 162 beatings on the majors as a whole this season.
Hill’s error was his eighth of the season, though he had two reversed on the weekend on routine plays that the official scorers somehow determined to be hits. One thing is for sure — Hill’s bat isn’t the only thing that’s taken a step back in 2010. He did manage to hit his 20th homer of the year last night — a solo shot in the fifth — and added a double to spike his average to a sparkling .212.
The loss drops the Jays to 68-63, with five more tough ones in Tampa Bay and New York before coming home for the Rangers next Monday. Ricky Romero (10-8, 3.54) and Jeff Niemann (10-4, 3.67) are on the hill tonight in the second of the three-game set.