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(Wednesday, April 18th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 12, Toronto 2
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Matt Joyce belted two doubles, a solo home run and scored three times as the Rays took a 12-2 decision over the Blue Jays in the middle test of a three-game series at Rogers Centre on Wednesday.
Ben Zobrist cranked a two-run blast in the first, Sean Rodriguez added a solo shot in the sixth and Luke Scott crushed a grand slam in the ninth.
Starter David Price (2-1) scattered eight hits and surrendered two runs over 5 2/3 innings for the Rays, who had lost five of six coming into the game.
"I felt better as the game went along," Price said. "It's tough to get into a groove right now but it's getting there. I feel better every time I get out there."
Brandon Morrow (0-1) was charged for six runs in the loss after giving up eight hits and three walks over a six-inning start. Yunel Escobar tallied four hits and Jeff Mathis registered a solo homer as Toronto had its brief two-game winning streak halted.
"He wasn't able to get away with too many mistakes," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said about Morrow. "First-pitch fastballs found their way back to the middle and were squared up for extra-bases."
It was 2-0 Rays before fans had time to settle into their seats, as Desmond Jennings led off with a single and Zobrist launched the first pitch he saw over the wall in right for his second home run of the season.
The Jays got one back in the home half when Escobar hit a leadoff single and advanced to second on a fielder's choice by Kelly Johnson. Escobar then came around to score on Jose Bautista's single up the middle to cut the margin in half.
Joyce opened the second with a double to center field, moved to third on a ground out from Jose Molina and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Rodriguez to restore a two-run lead for the visitors.
The Jays answered again in the bottom half of the second, as Mathis belted a 1-1 fastball deep to left field, bringing Toronto within 3-2.
But it was all Rays from there as Joyce smacked his second double of the game with two outs in the fourth and quickly scored as Molina ripped a single off the glove of Brett Lawrie at third base for a 4-2 Rays lead.
The Rays used the long ball to extend the lead to 6-2 in the sixth, as Joyce launched a solo shot to right and Rodriguez followed two batters later with a solo blast to left-center field.
Tampa Bay blew the game open in the ninth. A hit-by-pitch, error and intentional walk loaded the bases before Carlos Pena drew an RBI walk. Evan Longoria then singled to add another run before Scott plated every one with a grand slam to right field to account for the final margin.
Tampa was 12-6 versus the Jays last season...Thursday's finale of this three- game set will feature righty Jeremy Hellickson for the Rays against fellow right-handed hurler Henderson Alvarez...Tampa Bay went 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base while Toronto finished 1-for-6 with RISP and stranded 11 baserunners.
04/19 00:07:24 ET