Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blue Jays break Rays' win streak with powerful offense

Jose BautistaDevon Travis and Dalton Pompey each homered while Josh Donaldson enjoyed a three-hit night as the Blue Jays scored early and often in an 12-7 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre on Jackie Robinson Day.
Bautista got things started in the first inning with a two-run shot to left, and Toronto never looked back. Kevin Pillar, Travis and Donaldson each doubled while Edwin Encarnacion was the only member of the starting lineup to not reach base at least once.
Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez's rough start to the season for Tampa Bay continued. In his first outing, he allowed seven runs over two innings, and he was charged with the same amount over 3 1/3 vs. Toronto. Left-hander Mark Buehrle picked up career victory No. 201 after tossing six strong innings and allowing three earned runs for the Blue Jays.
"I've always said, 'When I got 10 runs or more, I've never lost,'" Buehrle said. "At least I don't think I have. ... Keep 'em coming. We needed a game like this. We haven't scored too many runs lately, and hopefully we can continue this tomorrow."
New-look lineup: Prior to the game, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to insert Donaldson into the No. 2 spot of the order for the first time this season. The move paid immediate dividends as Donaldson singled in the first and scored on Bautista's two-run homer. Donaldson singled again in the second inning and added an RBI double in the fifth. It was Donaldson's fourth multi-hit game of the season and his second in as many days. More >
Souza's power: The Rays did not have many highlights in Wednesday night's loss save for another show of power by Steven Souza Jr. The Rays' rookie slugger homered for the second consecutive night. Tuesday night's came in the form of a 463-foot blast to center field while Wednesday night's rattled the seats in the second deck of left field. More >
Rookie keeps raking: Blue Jays second baseman Travis continues to exceed expectations during the first couple of weeks of the season. He has been one of the club's best hitters during the early going, and he was back at it again Wednesday night. Travis missed a home run in the third inning by a couple of feet and instead settled for a double off the wall. In the fifth, Travis went deep to left for his second home run of the year. More >
First hit a homer: Mikie Mahtook joined the Rays in Miami on Friday whenJohn Jaso was placed on the disabled list. He had logged two Major League at-bats when he stepped to the plate in the sixth inning to face Buehrle with two outs. He found himself behind in the count 1-2 when Buehrle threw him an 82-mph changeup. Mahtook swung, and an instant later he was floating around the bases after his first Major League hit landed in the left-field stands.More >
Pillar's highlight-reel grab: Pillar took a home run away from Tampa Bay'sTim Beckham when he scaled the wall in left field during the seventh to make yet another sensational catch. Pillar perfectly timed his jump and used the wall to help elevate his glove over the 10-foot-high fence. It's the latest in what has become a series of remarkable catches for Pillar after he made a pair of diving plays during a recent series against the Orioles. More >
Pillar robs a home run
"I climbed the wall once here before. I wasn't able to get it. We're kind of told not to climb the wall. The padding is there, don't want to put holes in it unnecessarily. But I think they'll gladly replace it now." -- Pillar, on climbing over the wall to take a home run away from Beckham
"I'm still impressed with the way the guys came back there in the later innings. You get [Brett] Cecil in the game, and I think they had another pitcher going. Love the way the guys keep approaching the game." -- Cash, on the Rays' offense
The Blue Jays scored at least two runs in the first five innings of a game for the first time in franchise history. Bautista's home run in the first inning allowed the Blue Jays to avoid going homerless in their opening three home games for the first time since 1986.
Ramirez allowed seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in his start, a performance that actually lowered his ERA from 31.50 to 23.63. The right-hander allowed seven earned runs in a two-inning relief stint against the Marlins on Friday night, his only other appearance of the season.
The Blue Jays came up with the rare center field-to-shortstop forceout during the second inning. Logan Forsythe hit a sharp liner up the middle, and Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings was late getting to second base. Center fielder Dalton Pompey threw a strike to Jose Reyes and second-base umpire Chris Guccione called Jennings out. Rays manager Kevin Cash challenged the call but it was ruled that the call on the field stands, which means there wasn't enough video evidence to either overturn or confirm the call.
Rays: Chris Archer will make his third start of the season after displaying electric stuff during his first two outings. The Rays have won nine of his last 10 road starts.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez will pitch for Toronto in the series finale at 7:07 p.m. ET on Thursday. Sanchez struggled with fastball command during his last start against the Orioles and threw first-pitch strikes to four of the 18 batters he faced.

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