Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Evan Longoria Homers and Drives in Four Runs to Lead Rays over Blue Jays, 9-4: Evan Longoria Leads Rays over Blue Jays

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Evan Longoria Homers and Drives in Four Runs to Lead Rays over Blue Jays, 9-4: Evan Longoria Leads Rays over Blue Jays

Article excerpt

TORONTO - The Tampa Bay rays made the most of their opportunities against Henderson Alvarez.

The Toronto Blue Jays let most of their chances go to waste.

Alvarez gave up a career-high six runs and walked two batters as the Rays beat the Blue Jays 9-4 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays stranded 13 runners as the Rays took the rubber match of a three-game series. The Blue Jays had the bases loaded in the sixth and ninth and came away with a total of one run.

"We had the bases loaded a couple of times and they definitely didn't let it go when they had the opportunity," said Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia who was 2-for-4. "It was just one of those games where we didn't have the timely hitting and they did."

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who made four errors in the series and was the target of the Rogers Centre fans, drove in four runs with a two-run homer, a single and a double.

Desmond Jennings also homered and drove in two runs and Luke Scott drove in two runs with a double in the Rays' three-run ninth in which Longoria also doubled in a run.

Both the home runs came in the Rays' three-run fifth inning after the Blue Jays had tied the game 3-3 in the fourth. Jennings hit a solo homer, his first, and Longoria hit a two-run blast, his second, to put the Rays into the lead.

"Tonight was a situation where we couldn't seem to maintain any momentum that we would generate offensively," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "But Henderson kept us in the ball game until the three runs they scored in the (fifth) inning."

Jeremy Hellickson (2-0) allowed three runs, two earned, in 5 2/3 innings to earn the win. Alvarez (0-1) gave up six hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out four. The promising 22-year-old walked more than one batter for only the second time in 13 career starts. Both times it was against Tampa Bay.

It was the second 2-1 series loss in a row for the Blue Jays and they finished a nine-game home stand with a 4-5 record. The Rays completed a 10-game trip 4-6.

"That was very challenging," Rays first baseman Carlos Pena said. "We had a couple of opening days, a bunch of day games. It was a challenge to get your rest, get your preparation routine in line. We held our own and we get back home with positive momentum on our side and something to build from."

Alvarez is now 0-2 against the Rays, also losing to them last Aug. 26 when he allowed four earned runs and three homers in that game over six innings.

"I just happened to have two bad games and both games have been against Tampa Bay," Alvarez said through an interpreter.

Ben Zobrist singled in the first and scored the first run on Longoria's single.

The Blue Jays (6-6) answered with a run in the home first. Yunel Escobar followed up Wednesday's four-hit game with a leadoff single, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on Adam Lind's two-out double. …

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