Blue Jays 6, Rays 4(11)

Deep flyballs don’t often do what John McDonald tells them to.

This one did.

McDonald hit a walkoff two-run homer in the 11th inning and the

Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 on Friday night. It

was the first homer of the season for McDonald, who shouted at his

shot as he ran toward first base.

”I was trying to talk to the ball to get it to go farther,”

McDonald joked. ”It doesn’t normally work for me.”

The drive off Rays right-hander Adam Russell (1-1) gave Tampa

Bay’s bullpen its first loss of the season.

”I liked my fastball matchup against him,” Russell said. ”It

just didn’t get where I wanted it to go and I paid the price.”

Rays relievers came in 3-0 and a perfect 4 for 4 in save

opportunities, but ended up beaten by a light-hitting backup

infielder.

”McDonald is our kryptonite,” Rays manager Joe Maddon

said.

McDonald had never hit a walkoff homer before, and said he

doesn’t relish facing Tampa Bay’s staff.

”There’s a lot of good pitchers over there,” he said. ”You

don’t go into Tampa thinking, ‘I can’t wait to face (David) Price

and (Jeff) Niemann. But anytime you can make a manager feel that

way across the other side, it makes you feel like you’re

accomplishing something.”

Marc Rzepczynski (2-0) pitched one-third of an inning for the

win as the Blue Jays handed the Rays their second straight

defeat.

Toronto’s Jose Bautista hit his fifth homer and finished a

single shy of the cycle. He went 3 for 3, walked twice and scored

four runs.

Juan Rivera hit a one-out single in the 11th off Cesar Ramos and

Russell came on to face McDonald, who homered to left on a 1-0

fastball.

McDonald didn’t start the game, coming on defensively in the

second after Blue Jays second baseman Jayson Nix was injured in a

knee-on-knee collision with Tampa Bay’s Sean Rodriguez, who slid

into Nix while trying to break up a double play.

”I didn’t think it was a bad slide,” Nix said. ”I would have

done the same thing in the same situation.”

Nix left with a sore left knee and is day to day. X-rays were

negative.

”I have some pain in the middle of my leg, in the fibula, but

the knee is the biggest problem right now,” he said.

The Blue Jays are already without regular second baseman Aaron

Hill, who missed his second straight game with a sore right

hamstring. Hill was injured stealing second in Tuesday’s victory

over the New York Yankees.

B.J. Upton’s sacrifice fly gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the top

of the first, but Toronto tied it in the bottom half. Bautista hit

a two-out double that skipped off Sam Fuld’s glove in left, sliding

into second just ahead of the throw. Adam Lind followed with an RBI

single to center.

Fuld singled, stole second and scored on a hit by Upton in the

third, but the Blue Jays tied it again in the fourth when Bautista

tripled past a diving Ben Zobrist in right and scored on Lind’s

double.

The Rays reclaimed the lead with a two-run fifth. Fuld scored

Kelly Shoppach with a triple to right and Johnny Damon followed

with an RBI double.

Bautista closed the gap to one with a leadoff homer to left off

Jeremy Hellickson in the fifth, then scored the tying run in the

eighth as Toronto rallied against reliever Joel Peralta.

Needing just a single for the cycle, Bautista walked on four

pitches to begin the inning, moving to second on Lind’s grounder.

Bautista was nearly picked off, staying alive when Rodriguez

dropped Peralta’s throw.

”I thought it was going to bounce, so I kind of picked my glove

up just a little bit,” Rodriguez said. ”I had it snowconed, but

when I went to turn around, it popped out.”

Edwin Encarnacion made the Rays pay by lining an RBI double off

the right-field wall.

Hellickson matched his career high by working seven innings,

allowing three runs and six hits. He walked two and struck out

six.

Blue Jays left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes gave up four runs and six hits

in seven innings. He walked one and struck out six.

Notes: Rays LHP J.P. Howell (left shoulder) threw 25 pitches in

an extended spring training game Friday. He struck out four and

allowed two hits in 1 1-3 innings. … Rays manager Joe Maddon said

he would not use Monday’s day off to skip Niemann, who is 0-3 with

a 7.08 ERA in four starts. … Toronto OF Rajai Davis (right ankle)

began a minor league rehab assignment at Double-A New Hampshire on

Friday, going 1 for 3 with a strikeout. … Blue Jays outfielders

Scott Podsednik and Dewayne Wise both started for Class-A Dunedin

in a game at Tampa on Friday night. Podsednik has been bothered by

plantar fasciitis. … The Blue Jays traded INF Brad Emaus to

Colorado for RHP Chris Malone and a player to be named or cash.