Beckham homers as Rays beat Blue Jays 4-2
TORONTO (AP) In the finale of their first series of the season, the Rays and Blue Jays set the stage for retaliation when they meet in Florida in eight days.
Chris Archer struck out 11 in seven shutout innings, pinch-hitter Tim Beckham hit a two-run homer in the sixth and the Rays beat the Blue Jays 4-2 on Thursday night in a game that saw three batters hit by pitches.
Evan Longoria left in the eighth after he was hit on the left hip by a pitch from Marco Estrada, one inning after Archer drilled Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion on the left elbow.
”I think there was some intent there,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said of the pitch that hit Longoria.
The Rays and Blue Jays still have 15 games against one another, starting with a three-game series that opens April 24 at Tropicana Field.
”It should make for an interesting rest of the year against these guys,” Longoria said.
Even though he felt he was drilled intentionally, Longoria said he wasn’t angry at Estrada, his former college teammate at Long Beach State.
”We have a history of friendship,” Longoria said. ”I don’t have any hard feelings toward him.”
Cash said Longoria was day-to-day. The Rays return home Friday to begin a three-game series against the Yankees.
”He got dinged pretty good, but we’ve got a flight to factor in, just sitting and getting up in the air and stuff,” Cash said. ”We’ll evaluate it tomorrow.”
After Mikie Mahtook came on to pinch run for Longoria, an animated Archer leaned against the top railing of the Rays’ first base dugout, yelling and gesturing at Toronto’s bench. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz eventually removed his mask and walked toward Archer, telling him to calm down. Archer also hit Toronto catcher Russell Martin in the second.
”I could care less what that guy does,” Toronto’s Josh Donaldson said of Archer’s antics. ”He’s on the other team. I’m more focused on my team.”
In the bottom of the eighth, Rays reliever Steve Geltz hit Donaldson on the left hand. Cash asked for a review, then was ejected when the call was upheld. It was the first ejection for Cash, who argued with Diaz before leaving.
”I was shocked that it wasn’t overturned,” Cash said.
Beckham’s pinch-hit homer was his second of the season, making him the first rookie in Tampa Bay history with two pinch-hit long balls – and the first Rays player since Willy Aybar in 2010 to hit two in a season.
Before this season, the only Rays rookies with pinch-hit home runs were Bubba Trammell in 1998 and Jonny Gomes in 2005.
Archer (2-1) allowed just two hits and two walks, lowering his ERA to 1.37.
Steve Geltz and Kevin Jepsen worked the eighth and Brad Boxberger finished for his fourth save.
The Rays took three of four from Toronto and went 5-2 on their first road trip of the season.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring on a fielder’s choice by Steven Souza in the third, and went ahead 2-0 on an RBI double by David DeJesus in the fifth.
Tampa Bay chased Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez in the sixth, which began with a double by Longoria. It was the 230th double of Longoria’s career, moving him past Ben Zobrist into first place on the Rays’ all-time list.
One out later, left-hander Aaron Loup came on for Sanchez, and Beckham replaced Allan Dykstra. Beckham fell behind 0-2 before hooking a home run around the left field foul screen.
Sanchez (0-2) allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes left after one at-bat with soreness in his left ribs. Reyes grimaced and held his side after grounding out in the first inning. Once back in the dugout, he slammed his batting helmet to the ground and disappeared up the tunnel to the clubhouse. He was replaced by Ryan Goins, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo earlier Thursday.
”I’m going to take some days off and see, with some rest, if it calms down a little bit,” Reyes said.
The Rays signed C/1B J.P. Arencibia to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Durham. Arencibia, who was recently released by Baltimore, had 23 homers and 78 RBIs for the Blue Jays in 2011. Cash said Arencibia will primarily play first for Durham.
Rays: LH Jake McGee (elbow surgery) threw one inning in an extended spring training game. … RH Alex Colome (pneumonia) allowed two runs and six hits in three innings in his second rehab start at Class-A Charlotte. He walked none and struck out four.
Blue Jays: DeJesus slid hard into 2B Devon Travis’ left leg while breaking up a double play in the third. The trainer came out to check on Travis, who remained in the game.
Rays: Tampa Bay returns home Friday to begin a three-game series against the Yankees. RHP Nathan Karns (1-1) faces RHP Adam Warren (0-1) in the opener.
Blue Jays: Toronto hosts Atlanta in the opener of the three-game series Friday. Braves RHP Julio Teheran (2-0) faces Blue Jays RHP Drew Hutchison (1-0). Hutchison lost his only career start against the Braves, while Teheran took a no-decision in his lone career start against Toronto.