Rays 6, Blue Jays 4

Jose Bautista is on a tear, yet even his home run barrage can’t

help the Blue Jays.

Ben Zobrist hit a three-run homer, David Price remained perfect

against Toronto and the Rays held on to beat the Blue Jays 6-4 on

Saturday, overcoming a two-homer game by Bautista.

Johnny Damon also went deep for the Rays, who snapped a two-game

skid.

Baseball’s reigning home run king bashed a pair of solo shots,

his sixth and seventh of the season, but Toronto still lost for the

ninth time in 13 games.

”I’m not about personal satisfaction,” Bautista said. ”I’m

here for team wins and obviously today we didn’t get one so we’re

going to turn the page and focus on tomorrow.”

Bautista, who walked in the seventh and singled in the ninth,

has reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances. It was the

12th multihomer game of his career.

”He’s very reminiscent of Barry Bonds in 2002,” Rays manager

Joe Maddon said. ”He looks like that where every time he swings

the bat, it looks like it’s going to go over the wall. Just

tremendous plate disciple, very aggressive swing. It’s an

understatement to say that he’s locked in right now. He’s hitting

as though there’s a league above this one.”

Bautista hit a two-out drive to left-center in the first and

followed that with a one-out blast to left in the fourth that just

cleared the wall.

”I honestly felt like playing (Bautista) in the bullpen, having

them open up the gates there,” Rays outfielder Sam Fuld said.

”I’d have a better chance of catching one of his balls than in

regular left field. He’s scary and he’s pretty locked in right

now.”

Besides Bautista, the rest of the Blue Jays struggled against

Price, now 7-0 with a 2.30 ERA in eight career games against

Toronto. The Rays have won all eight games.

Price (3-2), who has won three straight starts, allowed three

runs and eight hits in eight-plus innings. He walked two and struck

out five.

”Outstanding,” Maddon said. ”Great command of his stuff all

night long. He threw the ball where he wanted to. He pitched

really, really well.”

Price, however, didn’t feel like celebrating after being unable

to finish in the ninth, with Kyle Farnsworth called on to record

his fifth save.

”I was disappointed in myself,” Price said. ”(Maddon) lets me

go out there and try to finish and I’ve got to be able to do it.

It’s unfortunate. You’ve got to go out there in the ninth inning

and shut the door.”

The left-hander started the ninth but was replaced after Adam

Lind’s RBI double and Jose Molina’s single. Farnsworth came on and

gave up an RBI single to Juan Rivera, then went down clutching his

left knee trying to field Travis Snider’s sacrifice, which put

runners at second and third.

After a visit from the trainer and an anxious Maddon, Farnsworth

stayed in the game and got John McDonald to bounced back to the

mound for the second out. Mike McCoy ended it by grounding to

third.

”Of course (Price) wanted to finish that but it was just not

going to work that way if I’d left him out there, based on their

momentum at that point,” Maddon said.

Fuld, who came in tied with New York’s Alex Rodriguez for the AL

batting lead, went 1 for 3 with two walks, dropping his average to

.365.

Making his first start after opening the season on the disabled

list with a sore elbow, Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow (0-1)

looked shaky in the first, walking leadoff hitter Fuld and giving

up a two-run homer to Damon, his fourth.

Morrow soon settled, striking out the next three batters and

allowing just two hits, both singles, over the next four

innings.

”My arm felt great, the ball was coming out good,” Morrow

said. ”Minus the first two hitters I thought I did great.”

On Aug. 8, Morrow threw a one-hitter and struck out a

career-high 17 in a 1-0 home win over the Rays, his first complete

game. Evan Longoria broke up the no-hit bid with a two-out infield

single in the ninth.

Carlos Villanueva replaced Morrow after Fuld walked and Damon

struck out in the sixth. Matt Joyce walked and Zobrist followed

with a booming three-run drive into the second deck in right, his

fourth.

Morrow allowed three runs and three hits in 5 1-3 innings. He

walked two and struck out 10.

The Rays tacked on an insurance run against Casey Janssen in the

seventh, with Sean Rodriguez scoring on Damon’s fielder’s

choice.

NOTES: The Blue Jays placed INF Jayson Nix (left shin contusion)

on the 15-day DL and recalled McCoy from Triple-A Las Vegas. Nix

left Friday’s game in the second inning after Rodriguez slid into

him while trying to break up a double play. … Toronto 3B Edwin

Encarnacion was scratched from the lineup with a sore left wrist

and replaced by McDonald. … Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill (right

hamstring) did some light jogging but sat out his third straight

game. Toronto manager John Farrell said a decision will be made

Sunday whether to put Hill on the DL. … Rays INF Felipe Lopez,

who was yanked from Friday’s game after failing to run out a

groundball, did not start. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he

discussed the incident with Lopez before Saturday’s game.