photo credit: J. Meric / Getty Images
by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
The Toronto Blue Jays hitters got to Roberto Hernandez early and often, powering the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday.
It started in the first inning, when Jose Bautista unloaded on a Hernandez fastball for a solo home run and a lead the Blue Jays would not relinquish.
Toronto added two more runs in the third inning, as Rajai Davis reached on a bunt single, stole second base, went to third on a groundout by Maicer Izturis, and after Hernandez hit Bautista with a pitch, Edwin Encarnacion's groundout brought in Davis to make it 2-0.
Hernandez intentionally walked Lind, but Brett Lawrie singled into left, bringing in Bautista with what would be the eventual winning run.
Tampa Bay got back into the contest in the fourth inning, as Jason Bourgeois singled for the Rays first hit of the night, and moved to third two batters later on a fielding error by Anthony Gose on Evan Longoria's single. Ben Zobrist then brought Bourgeois in for the first run, and Yunel Escobar would bring Longoria around with a single to make it 3-2. However, Tampa Bay would get no closer, as after James Loney singled to put two runners on, Sean Rodriguez struck out looking to end the threat.
The Jays added two more runs in the sixth, as Adam Lind homered off Hernandez to start the inning, and Lawrie doubled. Hernandez (6-13) retired the next two hitters and was replaced by Alex Torres. Lawrie then stole third base and when Torres' pickoff throw went wide of Longoria, Lawrie trotted home to make it 5-2.
Lind added his second leadoff home run in the eighth off Brandon Gomes, making his first appearance since going on the disabled list May 8 with a lat strain, to set the score.
Tampa Bay can still take the series with a victory in Sunday afternoon's finale. Chris Archer (6-5, 3.10 ERA) will take on Todd Redmond (1-1, 3.62 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:40, with pregame coverage starting at 11:30 on 620 WDAE and 95.3 FM with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.