An incredible streak by Lee was tarnished. A chance for a Phillies weekend sweep floated away with those three mammoth home-run blasts by Eric Thames, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion.
All Lee could do was helplessly watch each ball's flight to the outer reaches of Rogers Centre. He put his arms at his sides each time.
"I felt like they were decent pitches, to be honest with you," Lee said. "But obviously that doesn't matter."
"That's life," Manuel said. "That's the game."
This day began with Lee seeking history. Another complete-game shutout and he'd match a 100-year-old franchise record of 41 straight scoreless innings established by Grover Cleveland Alexander.
Lee extended his streak to 34 innings before surrendering a run on a Rajai Davis third-inning triple and a groundout by John McDonald.
Still, the Phillies had a three-run lead because of a four-run second inning. With Lee on the mound, that has been about as good of a guarantee as there is in baseball recently.
But the Phillies never added to the total. A bumbling mistake in the eighth cost them a sure run. Shane Victorino, who jammed his right thumb in the sixth when his cleats were caught in the outfield turf, doubled with one out. He saw a chance to steal third, but that idea was sniffed out by Blue Jays reliever Octavio Dotel, who picked him off. On the next pitch, Raul Ibanez doubled over Juan Rivera's head in left. Victorino would have easily scored from second.
"It's never a good play when you've got a lefthanded hitter standing there and you get thrown out," Manuel said. "If you make it, it's something different."
So Lee was asked to preserve a one-run lead in the eighth. His first pitch was a fastball that Thames deposited beyond the center-field fence. Next was Bautista, the most dangerous hitter in the game. Lee's first two pitches were balls.
"A hitter like that," Lee said, "you should try to stay away from those types of counts."
But Lee sneaked a backdoor cutter on the outside edge for a called strike. Carlos Ruiz liked the way the pitch moved, so he called for it again. This one caught a little more of the plate. In one fluid motion, Bautista drove it to left for a go-ahead bomb.
Lee had struck out eight Blue Jays before the eighth, and Ruiz said a few of the swings and misses were on similar pitches to the ones they jacked in the eighth.
"They made the adjustments late in the game," Ruiz said. "They didn't miss them."
Rich Dubee emerged from the dugout to calm Lee. An Adam Lind single and a fly out followed before Encarnacion smashed the game out of reach.
The rapid takedown was tough to swallow in the visitors clubhouse, where the players dressed, secured their passports, and filled out customs papers for a return to America. Lee brushed away the failure, but those 10 eighth-inning pitches would be difficult to forget.
"He's been there all year long," Manuel said. "They just got to him."
Cliff Lee's streak of scoreless innings ended Sunday at 34, second on the Phillies' all-time list.
1. Grover Cleveland Alexander, 1911: 41 scoreless innings
2. Cliff Lee, 2011: 34
3. Larry Andersen, 1984: 322/3
4. Ken Heintzelman, 1949; Robin Roberts, 1950: 32
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org or @magelb on Twitter.