Rays blast Blue Jays 10-3 behind Kiermaier's effort

Brian Blanco

Kevin Kiermaier: 3/4 with 3 RBI, 2 R, BB

The Tampa Bay Rays bested the Toronto Blue Jays 10-3 on Saturday at Tropicana Field behind Kevin Kiermaier's hitting and Jake Odorizzi's solid pitching. Odorizzi started the game in place of scheduled starter David Price, who was feeling ill. After the game, it was reported that Price would start Sunday's series finale against the Blue Jays. Odorizzi picked up the win for the Rays while Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison was tagged with the loss.

Kiermaier got the scoring started early in the ballgame with nonstop hustle. Kiermaier hit what should have been a single to right that he managed to stretch into a double when the ball was returned slowly to the infield. Kiermaier moved up to third on a Ben Zobrist flyout to center field and then scored on a sacrifice fly hit to about the same location by Matt Joyce to give the Rays an early 1-0 lead.

Kiermaier gave the run back to Toronto in the top of the second inning when he tried to catch a ball hit by Colby Rasmus that ended up getting by him for a one out triple. Juan Francisco plated Rasmus with a sacrifice fly hit to left to even the score at 1 apiece.

Odorizzi gave up an unearned run in the top of the fourth inning when Jose Bautista reached on a Sean Rodriguez throwing error that skipped past James Loney at first base and allowed Bautista to take second base. Back to back singles by former Rays Dan Johnson and Dioner Navarro scored Bautista and gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. Odorizzi retired the next three hitters in order (two on strikeouts) to retire the side without any more damage.

The Rays didn't wait around to tie the game. Loney led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to left. After a Brandon Guyer strikeout, Yunel Escobar singled to left, moving Loney to second and bringing Jose Molina. Molina brought Loney home and moved Escobar to third base with a single to center that Rasmus dove for and missed. With two outs in the inning, Molina stole second base, his second steal in as many attempts this season, to an ovation from Rays fans. Kiermaier struck out to end the inning with just one run to show for the three hits.

Sean Rodriguez atoned for his earlier fielding miscue in the top of the fifth inning when he threw Jose Reyes out attempting to stretch a single into a double after Zobrist couldn't come up with a catch in shallow right field. Rodriguez was hustling out to right field and threw to Escobar. The Blue Jays challenged the out call and upon further review, the call was confirmed.

The Rays broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning. The first three hitters to come to the plate reached to load the bases for Molina, who struck out for the inning's first out. Cole Figueroa gave the Rays a 3-2 lead pinch hitting for Rodriguez with an RBI walk that scored Loney. The walk signaled the end of Hutchinson's night as the Blue Jays decided to hand the ball to J.A. Happ to get them out of a jam. Kiermaier hit a single to left field that scored Brandon Guyer and Escobar to give the Rays a 5-2 lead. Zobrist continued the hit parade with another single to left, scoring Figueroa. Matt Joyce followed with yet another single, this one scoring two more runs to make the score 8-2 in favor of the home team. Evan Longoria, who was hitless in five at-bats, popped out to second for the second out of the inning. Loney, batting for the second time in the inning, ended the inning with a strikeout.

The Blue Jays got a run back in the top of the seventh with a rally started by a one out double to center field hit by Francisco. It appeared as if Odorizzi could get out of trouble without any damaged when he struck out Steve Tolleson. However, Anthony Gose, the number nine hitter, singled to right, scoring the run and cutting the Rays' lead to 8-3. A followup walk to Reyes proved to be the end for Odorizzi, who threw 107 pitches. Joel Peralta came on in relief and struck out Melky Cabrera to end the threat.

The Rays continued to add runs in the seventh; Guyer led off the inning with a double to left. Escobar (single) and Molina (walk) both reached base to load the bases for Figueroa. Figueroa struck out for the inning's first out but Kiermaier, who followed Figueroa, singled to right to score Guyer and keep the bases loaded for Zobrist. Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Escobar and giving the Rays a 10-3. Longoria popped out to second with the bases loaded following a Matt Joyce walk to end the inning.

Peralta remained in the game for the first two outs of the eighth inning, departing after he ceded a double to Navarro. Juan Carlos Oviedo retired Rasmus to end the inning.

Erik Bedard, the Rays' scheduled starter for Sunday if Price couldn't go, pitched the ninth inning, allowing two hits before retiring the next three batters without allowing a runner to score.

The Rays and Blue Jays will conclude their series tomorrow at 1:40 ET with David Price scheduled to face R.A. Dickey.

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