St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – James Loney, Rene Rivera and Tim
Beckham clubbed two-run homers, and the Tampa Bay Rays pounded the Toronto
Blue Jays, 12-3, in the opener of a three-game series at Tropicana Field.
Loney, activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday, hit his first home run
of the year, a shot to right in the fourth inning. Rivera went deep later in
the frame and the Rays poured it on by scoring five times in the fifth for
their third consecutive win.
Drew Smyly, who hadn’t pitched this season due to tendinitis in his pitching
shoulder, gave up four hits and a pair of runs over 4 2/3 innings. Smyly, the
first lefty starter used by the Rays in 2015, had five strikeouts and was
removed after making 79 pitches.
Jose Dominguez (1-1) tossed the following 1 1/3 frames for his first career
R.A. Dickey (0-2) was shelled for nine hits and eight runs — seven earned —
over 4 2/3 frames. The knuckleball specialist has lost both of his decisions
this year to the Rays.
Devon Travis and Justin Smoak went deep for Toronto, which was coming off a
three-game sweep of the Orioles.
The Blue Jays, who started a 10-game road trip, were without slugger Jose
Bautista for a third straight game because of a sore right shoulder. The Blue
Jays, though, may have Bautista back in the lineup at designated hitter this
weekend with a return to right field next week.
Travis homered tight to the line in left with one out in the fifth, and three
straight singles by Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Danny Valencia
produced a 2-0 edge.
Loney, who was sidelined by a mild right oblique strain, lined a homer to
right with Evan Longoria aboard in the bottom portion of the fourth. Rivera
went deep to center, two batters after Logan Forsythe legged out an infield
hit for a 4-2 Rays lead.
Tampa Bay blew it open in the fifth when a big error in the outfield
contributed to Toronto’s downfall. Asdrubal Cabrera’s triple to left-center
plated Brandon Guyer. Longoria then lifted a sacrifice fly. Loney and Desmond
Jennings were aboard with hits, and then another run came home when Forsythe
beat out a potential double-play ball.
Jeff Francis replaced Dickey and the Blue Jays should have been out of the
inning when Kevin Kiermaier sent a fly ball to left-center. Left fielder Steve
Tolleson and center fielder Dalton Pompey had a small collision. The ball
caromed off Tolleson’s glove and rolled toward the wall, which allowed
Kiermaier to race around the bases for a 9-2 cushion.
Kiermaier had an RBI single in the seventh when Beckham homered to left-
Smoak homered in the ninth off Matt Andriese, who threw the final three
innings for his first career save.
The Rays opened roster spots for Smyly and Loney by optioning outfielder Mikie
Mahtook and first baseman Allan Dykstra to Triple-A Durham … The Rays are
4-1 against Toronto this year … Entering the game, Smyly hadn’t allowed a
run in 11 2/3 career innings versus the Blue Jays.