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(Monday, May 20th)
Final Score: Toronto 7, Tampa Bay 5
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Edwin Encarnacion's bases-clearing double in the seventh inning lifted the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game set.
R.A. Dickey (4-5) surrendered three runs -- two earned -- over his first three innings, but settled down and didn't allow another run over his last five frames. He struck out five in all and gave up four hits and four walks in the win.
"He was on a nice little roll," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "If you look at the way he's pitched, he usually gets a little stronger as the game goes on. He finds that groove."
Melky Cabrera added an RBI double among his two hits for Toronto, which has won five of its last seven tilts.
Evan Longoria tallied two hits, two RBI and a run scored, while Yunel Escobar smacked a two-run homer for the Rays, who had won nine of their last 11 contests.
Jake Odorizzi, who was acquired from the Kansas City in the deal that sent James Shields to the Royals, started in place of the injured David Price and fanned six, but allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over five innings.
"I saw the typical good composure, some nice stuff," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon also said Odorizzi's curve ball was effective.
"It was really good. When you see good hitters take bad swings, you know how good the pitch is. I thought it was exceptional," Maddon said.
The game was tied 3-3 before the Blue Jays broke it open in the seventh.
Josh Lueke (0-1) replaced Jake McGee to start the frame and walked three of the first five hitters to load the bags for Encarnacion with two outs. Encarnacion laced an 0-1, belt-high splitter into the left field corner and Toronto took a 6-3 advantage.
The Blue Jays added an insurance run in the eighth on Kawasaki's RBI triple. Casey Janssen finished the contest off in the ninth despite allowing a two- run blast to Escobar.
Earlier, Sam Fuld's RBI groundout in the second got the Rays on the board before Toronto countered in the home half on Melky Cabrera's RBI double, which gave Toronto a 3-1 margin.
Tampa Bay pushed two across in the third on Longoria's two-out, two-run double.
Toronto was 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position, while Tampa Bay finished 2-for-10 with RISP ... Odorizzi was 4-0 with a 3.83 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A Durham this season.
05/20 19:42:18 ET