Advertisement

Tampa Bay Rays complete three-game sweep of Toronto Blue Jays

By
Larry Millson, The Sports Xchange
Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

TORONTO -- The Tampa Bay Rays were hitting - literally.

The Rays had a club-record 44 hits for a three-game series and completed a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 6-3 victory Wednesday night.

Advertisement

The Rays outscored the Blue Jays 31-7 and have won four of their past five games after a season-high four-game losing streak while the Blue Jays have lost five straight.

"Awesome series, just outstanding effort," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "Obviously the offense has kind of carried us quite a bit this series. I really like the way the guys swung the bat. It just kind of goes down the line, it has gotten a little contagious obviously the last three days."

RELATED Atlanta Braves finally get 10th win

The Rays lead the American League with 58 home runs after getting solo shots from Logan Morrison and Desmond Jennings and a two-run blast from Kevin Kiermaier.

Morrison had three hits for the Rays (19-19).

"It's a lot easier to hit when you're up there every other inning or every inning versus every third inning," Morrison said. "We're in a good place right now and we'd like to keep it rolling in Detroit (Friday).

Advertisement
RELATED Cleveland Browns need a healthy, productive Joe Haden

Jimmy Paredes, Michael Saunders and Edwin Encarnacion homered for Toronto (19-23).

Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi (1-2) allowed two hits, both home runs, four walks (one intentional) and two runs while striking out two in five innings to earn his first win of the season.

"I thought he got away with some pitches and made some pitches when he had to," Blue Jays acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. "When you're struggling offensively it seems like everything goes against you. He's always been tough on us."

Blue Jays right-hander R.A. Dickey (2-5) allowed three home runs among eight hits, one walk and five runs (four earned). The knuckleballer struck out six before right-hander Joe Biagini took over in the seventh.

"We ran into a team that has a lot of momentum," Dickey said. "They're swinging the bat really well and we are not. We're not pitching very well and you put those things together, you get swept. We've got to claim some games here and I think we will. Everybody in here knows we're capable of so much more."

Odorizzi left with a 5-2 lead after Kiermaier's fifth homer of the season came one out after Morrison's leadoff single. It was the eighth homer allowed by Dickey this season.

Advertisement

"Hitting comes and goes," Kiermaier said. "Right now it's definitely in full force for us. Everyone is really starting to get on board. We're all clicking on all cylinders right now. It's a fun time to be a Ray right now and I love it. We can be a dangerous ball club if we keep going like this. It's just about staying consistent with our approach."

Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez took over in the sixth and allowed Encarnacion's eighth homer of the season with two outs in the eighth.

After Justin Smoak kept the eighth going with a double, right-hander Alex Colome replaced Ramirez and struck out Troy Tulowitzki. Colome finished the game to earn his 10th save.

Tim Beckham led off the ninth with a double against right-hander Gavin Floyd and scored from second with one out on a wild pitch.

Paredes, who started at third base, hit his first home run of the season with two outs in the second inning.

It was Paredes' second hit in as many at-bats for the Blue Jays, who activated him Tuesday after being claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles Monday.

Advertisement

The Rays struck for back-to-back home runs for the first time this season in the fourth. Morrison hit his first of the season with one out and Jennings followed with his third.

The Blue Jays had runners at second and third with one out in the fourth after Smoak and Tulowitzki walked and Paredes grounded out to second. Odorizzi worked out of the inning when Kevin Pillar grounded out to third and Ryan Goins popped out to second.

Tampa Bay led 3-1 after scoring an unearned run in the fifth. Beckham led off with a double and scored on a throwing error by Paredes on Evan Longoria's infield single to third.

Saunders hit his sixth homer of the season with one out in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2.

"They're playing with a lot of confidence," Dickey said. "They ambushed a couple of first-pitch knuckleballs and hit them out of the park. They're seeing the ball well."

NOTES: Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson was not in the starting lineup. Acting manager DeMarlo Hale said it was a planned day off for the 2015 American League MVP. ... Rays 1B Logan Morrison had two RBIs in a 12-2 win on Tuesday, his first RBIs of the season. He ended a string of 85 at-bats without one, the second longest season-opening RBI drought in Rays history. C Jose Molina opened the 2014 season without an RBI in 87 at-bats. ... Rays RHP Matt Andriese (2-0, 0.56 ERA) will face Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-4, 5.91) in the opener of a three-game series on Friday in Detroit. ... Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada (1-2, 2.89) will face Twins RHP Ervin Santana (1-2, 3.38) on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series at Minnesota.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines