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(Saturday, August 17th)
Final Score: Toronto 6, Tampa Bay 2
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Adam Lind homered twice and J.A. Happ made a triumphant return to Tropicana Field in the Toronto Blue Jays' 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Making his third start since sustaining a frightening skull fracture when struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Tampa's Desmond Jennings in a May 7 matchup between the clubs in St. Petersburg, Happ (3-2) allowed just two runs on five hits while striking out five over 5 1/3 innings to help the Blue Jays bounce back from a 5-4 loss in Friday's opener of this three-game set.
Jose Bautista added a solo homer and two runs scored to the win, while Brett Lawrie went 2-for-4 with an RBI single.
Roberto Hernandez (6-13) surrendered two of Toronto's three homers and allowed five runs -- four earned -- overall through 5 2/3 innings to record his 13th loss of the season, tied for the most in the majors.
Evan Longoria finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and Yunel Escobar had an RBI single for Tampa Bay, which had a three-game win streak halted and fell two games back of Boston for first place in the AL East.
Happ cruised during his first time through the Tampa Bay order, retiring nine straight hitters to begin the game, and was staked to a 3-0 lead entering the fourth inning after Bautista launched his 28th homer of the season in the opening frame and the Blue Jays scored twice more in the third.
Rajai Davis began the bottom of the third with a single and was soon on third following a stolen base and a groundout. An Edwin Encarnacion grounder two batters later brought him home.
Hernandez later intentionally walked Lind to face Lawrie, who shot a single through the left side as Bautista, hit by a pitch earlier in the inning, raced around from second for Toronto's third run.
Jason Bourgeois ended Happ's perfect run with a bunt single in the fourth and moved to third on a Longoria base hit in front of Ben Zobrist's sac fly that got the Rays on the board. Escobar then delivered a sharp single up the middle to plate Longoria and cut Tampa's deficit to 3-2.
Hernandez settled down after his early struggles, recording seven straight outs until Lind crushed a high fastball into the right-field seats to lead off the sixth. Lawrie later doubled and attempted to steal third, with Rays reliever Alex Torres' throw sailing into the outfield to enable Toronto to extend the margin to 5-2.
Happ was lifted following a Longoria double and a one-out walk to Zobrist in Tampa Bay's half of the sixth, but Neil Wagner put out the threat with two quick outs to maintain the Jays' three-run lead.
Lind achieved his ninth career multi-homer game with a blast off Brandon Gomes in the top of the eighth, and Wagner, Brad Lincoln and Darren Oliver limited the Rays to two singles and a walk over the final 3 2/3 innings.
Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes sat out the game and will miss Sunday's finale as well due to a sore right knee ... Lind has homered three times off Hernandez this season and is 7-for-16 against him lifetime ... Lawrie extended his hitting streak to seven games and is batting .426 (26-for-61) in August ... Gomes (lat strain) was activated from the 60-day disabled list before the game and made his first appearance since May 7, with the Rays placing DH Luke Scott (back spasms) on the 15-day DL to make room ... Tampa Bay has lost six of its last seven encounters with a left-handed starter.
08/17 22:26:38 ET