Friday, March 26, 2010

Tampa Bay Rays defeat Toronto Blue Jays in 14-10 slugfest

The Game: The Tampa Bay Rays were on the winning side of a 14-10 slugfest against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Dunedin Stadium. Both clubs combined for 24 runs, 30 hits and 4 home runs on the afternoon and when the bats silenced the Rays went home winners.

The Rays took the lead in the first inning. Jason Bartlett led off the game with a double to center. Carl Crawford moved Bartlett to third on a sac bunt. Gabe Kapler singled to score Bartlett. Then Evan Longoria cleared the bases with a two run homer to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.

Toronto battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Aaron Hill doubled to left then moved to third on a single by Jeremy Reed. Kyle Phillips the struck a three run home run to tie the game 3-3.

The Blue Jays took the lead an inning later. Aaron Hill singled to second then later stole second base. Phillips drove home his fourth run of the game with a double to left, scoring Hill and giving the Blue Jays a 4-3 lead.

The Rays fought back to regain the lead in the third inning. Longoria got things started with a single. BJ Upton followed with a two run homer to give Tampa Bay the lead 5-4.

The Rays increased their lead in the fifth inning. Gabe Kapler drew a walk and then was replaced by Ty Morrison as a pinch runner. Longoria followed with a single, moving Morrison to second. Then Upton doubled, scoring Morrison and moving Longoria to third. Kelly Shoppach drove home two runs with a double to score Longoria and Upton. Shoppach later scored on a sac fly by Hank Blalock giving the Rays a 9-5 advantage.

The Tampa Bay offense kept rolling striking for five more rune in the sixth inning. Bartlett singled and Crawford drew a walk to get the inning going. Matt Sweeney drove home both runners with a double to right. Sweeney then scored on a double by Shoppach. Sean Rodriguez delivered an RBI double to score Shoppach and then later scored on a single by Blalock to increase the lead to 14-4.

Error by the Tampa defense aided the Blue Jays in posting four runs to the scoreboard in the eighth inning. Michael McDade singled to lead off the inning. Jose Molina was then struck by a pitch and Joey Gathright reached on error to load the bases for Toronto. A double by Johnny Tolisano combined with an errant throw helped in Toronto pushing three runners across the plate on the play and Tolisano ending up at third base. Tolisano scored a batter later on a single by Jeremy Reed and the Jays now trailed by six.

Toronto pushed across two more runs in the home half of the ninth inning. McDade singled to right and then scored on a home run by Molina. The Rays rallied to get the third out to hold on for a 14-10 victory.

Wade Davis earned the victory, pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing 4 runs on 10 hits with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks. Lance Cormier followed with 1/3 no hit inning. Andy Sonnanstine pitched the final 3 innings and allowed 6 runs (2 earned on 6 hits with 2 strikeouts in recording the save.

RP Top Prospect Watch:
Reid Brignac: 0-1.
Wade Davis: 4 runs on 10 hits with 3 K’s and 2 walks in 5 2/3 inning.
Ty Morrison: 0 for 2 with a run scored.
Matt Sweeney: 1 for 2 with a double, 2 RBI’s and a run scored.

A Look Ahead: The Rays (16-7) travel to Kissimmee to play the Houston Astros (12-10) on Saturday. James Shields will start for Tampa Bay.

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