Bautista's blast sparks Blue Jays past Rays
ST. PETERSBURG -- "Joey Bats" ignited a four-run sixth that proved to be the difference in the Blue Jays' 8-5 win over the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field.
Jose Bautista's 15th home run of the season with one out in the sixth broke a 3-3 tie and chased Rays starter Matt Andriese. The Blue Jays added three more runs against Ronald Belisario via an RBI double by Chris Colabello, an RBI single by Ezequiel Carrera and an RBI groundout by Danny Valencia to take a 7-3 lead.
The score stood deadlocked at 3 after five innings thanks to RBI singles by David DeJesus, Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria for the Rays and home runs by Jose Reyes and Dioner Navarro -- along with Colabello's RBI groundout -- for the Blue Jays.
"He's a good hitter, I mean we saw that all last year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Navarro, who went 3-for-4 and scored three runs. "He's probably the best pure hitter on the team, you know as far as his approach, both sides of the plate. He's got a good, natural swing. He's a student, he studies hitting."
Logan Forsythe led off the Rays' seventh with his eighth home run of the season and Rene Rivera doubled home Steven Souza Jr. to cut the lead to 7-5, but Valencia added an RBI single off left-hander Enny Romero in the eighth to give the Blue Jays a three-run cushion.
"Lot of hitting going on tonight," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We came up on the short end, obviously. I thought Matt Andriese, he threw the ball well, he just couldn't avoid those home runs."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bautista bomb: Bautista gave the Blue Jays a lead they would not relinquish in the sixth inning with a solo shot to left field. His 15th of the season came on a 2-2 pitch from Andriese, and according to Statcast™, the ball left Bautista's bat at 107 mph and was projected to travel 442 feet. Toronto's slugging outfielder has eight home runs in June, which is one more than he had in April and May combined. The Blue Jays scored three more runs in the sixth to take control of the game. More >
End the drought: The Rays had not scored a run since the third inning of Saturday night's 4-1 win over the Indians, which translated to a scoreless streak of 15 innings heading into the game. But like he's done so many times this season, Kiermaier got something started from the get-go. The Rays' leadoff hitter singled in the first, then stole second and moved to third on a flyout before scoring on DeJesus' single, putting the scoring drought in the rearview mirror.
Uncharacteristic hiccup: The Rays' bullpen allowed two runs in 22 innings during the recent five-game road trip against the Nationals and Indians. Monday night was another story. Belisario gave up three runs in the sixth and Romero one in the eighth, giving the unit some uncharacteristic results. More >
Osuna shuts 'em down: Toronto's bullpen was headed for a similar fate until Roberto Osuna entered the game in the bottom of the eighth. He stepped on the mound with a pair of runners on and nobody out, but he struck out three of the four batters he faced to preserve the three-run lead. Osuna also came back out for the ninth to pick up the first save of his career.
"We just didn't get those big hits with runners on second, third or bases loaded when we needed it, and tip your hat to their guys making big pitches, especially the bullpen guys coming in, doing a really good job for them." -- Kiermaier, on Rays hitters leaving 14 runners on base
"I think if you play enough of them, you get used to playing them. I would say we're used to playing them but I don't know if that's good, because it's tension all the time. You need a laugher every now and then where you can just kind of relax, but you get battle hardened. It's probably tougher on the coaches than it is those guys, I would think." -- Gibbons, on another come-from-behind win
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Gibbons picked up career victory No. 500 as a Blue Jays manager, which ranks second in franchise history. Cito Gaston is the only Toronto manager who has won more, with a career 894-837 record.
• The Rays have allowed 16 and eight runs in their last two home games. In between, they allowed a total of six runs on a five-game road trip.
Steve Geltz retired the Blue Jays in order in the ninth, which extended his streak to 28 consecutive batters he's retired -- one more than a perfect game. Geltz now has the club record for consecutive batters retired. Kyle Farnsworth previously held the record at 26.
"It's pretty special just to be able to do something like that," Geltz said. "All the credit needs to go to the guys behind me. It wouldn't be possible without them making plays. I didn't go out there striking out 28 guys. So it's all a credit to them to have that confidence behind me and them making plays."
CUT THE LIGHTS
With Carrera standing at the dish with one on and one away in the top of the fourth inning, a bank of lights located along the left-field line went out, causing a short cease in play. After discussing with his umpiring crew, crew chief Joe West decided to let the game continue.
ON THE MOVE
The Rays optioned Romero to Triple-A Durham after the game, when he allowed one run on three hits in two innings. The Rays will make a corresponding move prior to Tuesday's game.
Blue Jays: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will take the mound Tuesday night when the series continues at 7:10 ET. Dickey was activated from the bereavement list Monday after he spent some time away from the team following the death of his father last Tuesday. He has a 3-4 record with a 4.18 ERA in 11 career outings at Tropicana Field.
Rays: Archer (8-4, 2.18 ERA) will look to continue the historic success he has had against the Blue Jays this season. In two starts against them, he has allowed just four hits and hasn't given up a run in 14 innings while striking out 18. The right-hander is the first pitcher to make consecutive starts of 7-plus innings with two hits or fewer and no runs against the Blue Jays since Oakland's Ron Darling did it in 1992.
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