Blue Jays 3, Rays 2

Wade Davis felt better about this start, even if the result

wasn’t what he wanted.

J.P. Arencibia hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, Juan Rivera also

connected and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Davis and the Tampa Bay

Rays 3-2 on Thursday night.

B.J. Upton and Kelly Shoppach had solo homers for the Rays,

losers of four of six.

Davis (4-4) had won four straight decisions before losing to

Baltimore in his previous start, giving up four runs in 5 1-3

innings.

He lost again in Toronto, allowing both Blue Jays homers, but

came away far happier about his performance.

”Everything felt a lot better today,” Davis said.

Davis threw a season-high 7 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and

seven hits. He walked four and struck out three.

”Overall I felt good about it,” he said. ”When you have good

stuff like that it (stinks) to get a loss, but I felt pretty good

about it overall.”

It’s the first time since his opening two starts of the season

that Davis has suffered consecutive defeats.

”He had a really good breaking ball,” Rays manager Joe Maddon

said. ”His curveball and slider were really good. I thought he

pitched well, he had really good stuff tonight.”

Davis said the key to his improvement was better drive from his

legs, which led to better breaking balls.

”Just striding better,” he said. ”Everything was stronger in

my lower half. My off-speed stuff was better, getting out in front.

My curveball, slider, everything was much better.”

Toronto left-hander Ricky Romero (4-4) allowed one run and three

hits in seven innings to win consecutive starts for the first time

this season. He walked two and struck out six.

”His fastball had a little more life to it than the last time

we faced him,” Rays designated hitter Johnny Damon said. ”He’s a

tough pitcher.”

Romero pitched a season-high 8 2-3 shutout innings to beat

Minnesota last Friday.

Marc Rzepczynski gave up Shoppach’s homer in the eighth and

Frank Francisco finished in the ninth for his fifth save in six

opportunities.

Rivera went 2 for 3 and scored a pair of runs as the Blue Jays

won for the seventh time in eight games.

Toronto’s Jose Bautista went 0 for 4 with a strikeout and failed

to reach safely for just the second time in 35 games this season.

Bautista had reached safely in 23 straight games, dating to April

17.

Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist also went 0 for 4, snapping his own

streak of reaching safely in 23 straight games.

Rivera gave the Blue Jays an early lead with a solo homer in the

second that bounced off the top of the wall, his third.

The Rays tied it in the fifth when Upton homered to left-center,

his seventh.

Arencibia and Eric Thames hit back-to-back singles to put

runners at first and second with one out in the fifth, but Rajai

Davis hit into an inning-ending double play.

After Rivera drew a one-out walk in the seventh, Arencibia

whacked Wade Davis’s next pitch over the wall in center for his

seventh home run.

”That was a slider, I just didn’t get it down,” Davis

said.

Wade Davis walked Thames and Rajai Davis but escaped further

damage by striking out Jayson Nix and getting Yunel Escobar to

ground out.

Shoppach cut the deficit to 3-2 with a solo homer to right off

Rzepczynski in the eighth, his second.

Wade Davis left in the eighth after walking Aaron Hill and

giving up a double to Rivera. Juan Cruz came on and got Arencibia

to bounce back to the mound.

Dan Johnson started at first base for the Rays but was replaced

defensively by Casey Kotchman in the seventh. Johnson went 0 for 3,

dropping his average to .115.

NOTES: Toronto OF Corey Patterson singled in the sixth,

extending his hitting streak to 10 games. … Blue Jays 1B Adam

Lind (back) is expected to miss at least another 10 days, manager

John Farrell said. Lind was placed on the 15-day DL on May 16. …

Rays OF Sam Fuld got the day off, and is expected to skip Friday’s

game at Florida, Maddon said. Fuld is batting .212 (7 for 33) in

his past eight games. … Toronto INF Edwin Encarnacion, who made

two errors Wednesday, got the night off.