by Steve Carney
Rays pitchers made just three mistakes to Blue Jays hitters, and it cost them Thursday's game, as solo homers by Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista, and Eugenio Velez were all Toronto needed for a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay.
The was scoreless until the fifth, when Rasmus led off the inning with a blast off the front offices in right field for a 1-0 lead, just the second of three hits allowed by Roberto Hernandez.
Tampa Bay tied the game in the sixth loading the bases on a double by Evan Longoria and walks to Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar. James Loney then reached on an infield single, scoring pinch-runner Ryan Roberts with the tying run.
The deadlock did not last long, as Bautista led off the top of the next inning against Jamey Wright with a blast that caromed off the top of the tiki bar in left-centerfield to give the Blue Jays the lead for good.
Velez led off the eighth with a solo shot on Joel Peralta's first pitch of the afternoon to set the score at 3-1.
Tampa Bay got the tying run to the plate in both the eighth and ninth inning, but could not plate anyone.
The Rays have a split squad afternoon coming up Friday, as half of the team will stay in Port Charlotte for a matchup with the Baltimore Orioles, as Jeff Niemann will take on Steve Johnson. The other half will go to Bradenton to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Alex Cobb will take on Jeanmar Gomez there. First pitch for both games is at 1:05.