Barrage of homers lifts Rays past Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) — Drew Smyly has taken losses and no-decisions in a few well-pitched games this season. The Tampa Bay Rays made sure he didn’t have to do much to end a winless streak Monday night.
Curt Casali hit a three-run homer, Tim Beckham and Steve Pearce each hit two-run blasts and the Rays had four homers while beating the Toronto Blue Jays 13-2.
Desmond Jennings also homered, and the Rays set season highs in runs and hits (17).
"Just a great offensive outpouring by everybody," manager Kevin Cash said. "A lot of balls were hit with authority."
Jennings and Steven Souza Jr. each had three hits in the opener of an eight-game, three-city trip.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Winters for arguing a called third strike in the fourth. It was the third ejection of the season for Gibbons and his second in two games — he was one of eight tossed in a game Sunday against Texas that included Rougned Odor’s punch to the jaw of Jose Bautista. Toronto has lost three straight.
Smyly (2-4) allowed one run and four hits in five innings to win for the first time in four starts. Staked to a 2-0 lead on Pearce’s first-inning homer, he nearly gave it back in the bottom half by walking the bases loaded with two outs, throwing 10 straight balls at one point.
"I just lost it," Smyly said. "Just one of those things. It doesn’t happen much."
Smyly escaped the first by striking out Troy Tulowitzki on a 2-2 fastball.
"I just wanted to go at him and not give in right there," Smyly said. "I think that was big for our offense as well."
Steve Geltz, Ryan Webb, Dana Eveland and Enny Romero each worked one inning for Tampa Bay.
The Rays roughed up left-hander J.A. Happ (5-1), who entered as one of six undefeated big league starters. Happ matched a career worst by allowing eight runs and seven hits in two innings.
"I just didn’t execute," Happ said. "It got away from me quick."
Happ’s woeful outing snapped a streak of 19 straight games in which Blue Jays starters worked at least six innings.
Pearce connected off Happ in the first for his sixth. After Kevin Kiermaier’s sacrifice fly, Beckham made it 6-0 with a one-out drive in the second, his first.
Souza chased Happ with an RBI single in the third and right-hander Dustin Antolin came on for his ML debut. After Jennings lined out to third, Casali drilled a three-run homer, his fifth.
Jennings, who came in 0 for his past 9, made it 11-0 with a two-out, two-run double off Antolin in the fourth, and then capped it with a leadoff blast off Jesse Chavez in the ninth.
"I don’t want it to sound crazy but I just didn’t try as hard," Jennings said. "I just went up relaxed, just tried to see the ball and hit it."
NO GO FOR LO-MO
After coming on as a defensive replacement in the sixth, Tampa Bay’s Logan Morrison almost collected his first RBI of the season in the eighth. Brandon Guyer was thrown out at home plate trying to score from second base.
MOTTER MAKES DEBUT
Infielder Taylor Motter made his first start after being recalled Sunday. He reached on an infield single in his first at-bat and finished 1 for 4 with a walk.
The Blue Jays claimed INF Jimmy Paredes on waivers from Baltimore. Paredes can play second base, third base and both corner outfield positions. He is expected to join Toronto on Tuesday.
Rays: Geltz pitched despite suffering an allergic reaction that made his right eye swell up. … Manager Kevin Cash said RHP Brad Boxberger (adductor surgery) will make a second rehab appearance at Class A Charlotte on Wednesday.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (2-4, 4.57) is unbeaten in four starts. He’s 2-2 with a 3.26 ERA in eight career starts in Toronto.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (4-0, 3.54) is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts against the Rays this season, with 14 strikeouts in 16 innings.
- Curt Casali
- Desmond Jennings
- Drew Smyly
- FOX Sports Florida
- FOX Sports Sun - Rays
- Steve Pearce
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Tim Beckham