Relief. The Rays got back in the win column thanks to an offense that unlike the previous two nights continued to add runs against the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen as the Rays coasted to a much needed 10-4 victory. The Rays victory improves their record to 15-18 and the loss drops the Blue Jays to 13-22.
The Rays offense put up 13 hits and drew 5 walks led by Evan Longoria, James Loney, and Kelly Johnson who all had multi-hit games. The trio were led by Longoria and Johnson with 3 apiece and each belted a 2-run homer.
Matt Moore (6-0, 2.14) earned the victory but did not have the quality arsenal with him but he was good enough to finish 5 innings allowing 2R/2ER on 6 hits walking 4 while only striking out 2. The Blue Jays got their two runs on Moore in the first inning on a home run off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion.
The Rays came back on losing pitcher Ricky Romero (0-2, 12.46) who was making his second start of the season since return from a retooling session in the minor leagues. He looked as if some more time away from major league hitters is in order. He faced 7 batters and 6 reached base and he recorded only 1-out. His final line was 0.1 innings pitched 3R/ER on 4 hits whiles walking 2.
Once the Rays took the 3-2 lead in the first they continued to add on against just recalled reliever Edgar Gonzalez who gave the Blue Jays 4.2 innings of much needed relief but allowed 5R/ER on 6 hits while striking out 1 and walking 2.
Evan Longoria hit a 2-run homer off Gonzalez in the bottom of the 4th to put the Rays ahead 6-2 but like so many times in this series the Blue Jays would mount a rally. In the top of the fifth inning the Blue Jays loaded the bases with 2-out for Mark DeRosa who had the count 3-1 in his favor before fouling a fastball down the left field line and then swinging through the next fastball to end the inning.
The Rays added insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on a 2-run Kelly Johnson home run that gave the Rays an 8-2 lead and ended Gonzalez’s evening.
Esmil Rogers entered the game and hit Ben Zobrist with a pitch and came home on a James Loney RBI double for the Rays 9th run and Loney came in to score on a Luke Scott sacrifice fly giving putting the Rays ahead 10-2. Brett Cecil came in and replaced Rogers and worked the final 1.1 scoreless innings.
Jamey Wright worked 2-innings and gave up 2 runs in his second of inning of work but did have the trainer come out to the mound and inspect his finger which may indicate a slight blister problem. Overall Wright worked 1.2 IP allowing 2R/ER on 2 hits striking out 1 and walking 1.
He was replaced by Cesar Ramos who worked the final 2.1 scoreless innings allowing only 1 hit. Thanks to the offense and the work of Jamey Wright and Cesar Ramos the remainder of the Rays bullpen got a much needed evening off and will look for a second such night as the Rays look to gain a split in the series finale tomorrow evening. It will be a matchup of two reigning Cy Young winners as David Price takes the mound against R.A. Dickey.