PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jake Bauers and Evan Longoria homered, and Casey Gillaspie added a pair of homers to lead the Rays to an 8-2 win over the Blue Jays Sunday at Charlotte Sports Park.But before the fireworks got underway, defensive gems were on display in the early going.
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jake Bauers and Evan Longoria homered, and Casey Gillaspie added a pair of homers to lead the Rays to an 8-2 win over the Blue Jays Sunday at Charlotte Sports Park.
But before the fireworks got underway, defensive gems were on display in the early going.
Gold Glove Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier got the party started with a leaping backhanded catch to rob Jake Elmore of extra bases in the first. Blue Jays second baseman Jon Berti then flashed the leather when he dove to his left to rob Brad Miller of a hit. Blue Jays right-fielder Anthony Alford one-upped Berti when he pulled stole a home run from Corey Dickerson.
Bauers then delivered a blow that the Blue Jays' defense couldn't get a glove on when he hit a two-run homer off Blue Jays starter Ryan Borucki that cleared the right-field boardwalk and landed on the roof of the team's administrative offices, giving the Rays a 2-0 lead.
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Rowdy Tellez singled off David Carpenter to lead off the Blue Jays' fifth. Jonathan Diaz followed with a double to left before John Smith doubled to left to drive home two and tie the score at 2.
Longoria homered leading off the sixth, hitting his first of the spring on a 1-2 pitch from Blue Jays left-hander Brett Oberholtzer to give the Rays a 3-2 lead.
"I'm seeing the ball pretty well," Longoria said. "I haven't really been worried about the power or anything like that. It's been more about trying to rack up at-bats. Just see pitches and get deeper into counts, and feel like I'm comfortable. ... That at-bat, it was a changeup that he just made a mistake on."
Hitting right-handed, Gillaspie slugged a two-run shot in the seventh that cleared the boardwalk in left, and added a solo homer in the eighth from the left side that cleared the right-field fence to put the Rays up 8-2.
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Erasmo Ramirez started for the Rays, allowing no runs on a walk and a strikeout in two innings.
Borucki, who is contending for a left-handed relief spot, allowed two runs on two hits, walking one and striking out two in two innings pitched.
Blue Jays Up Next: The Blue Jays will host the Red Sox Monday in a 1:07 p.m. ET contest at Dunedin. J.A. Happ will start for the Blue Jays. Knuckleballer Steven Wright will start for the Red Sox.
Rays Up Next: The Rays will travel to Fort Myers Monday for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest against the Twins. Jose De Leon will start and he'll be followed by Chase Whitley, Christopher Guerrieri, Jeff Walters, and Justin Marks. Top prospect Willy Adames, Timothy Beckham, Nick Franklin, and Steven Souza Jr. will also be on the trip. Watch the game live on MLB.TV.
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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.