Final Score: Toronto 3, Tampa Bay 0
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - While the long-awaited return of one of
the Toronto Blue Jays' premier offseason acquisitions didn't provide much of a
spark, the team got a huge lift from one of the others in its series finale
with the Tampa Bay Rays.
R.A. Dickey fired a two-hit shutout to get the Blue Jays back on track with a
3-0 triumph over the Rays in a game marked by Jose Reyes' comeback from an
absence of more than two months.
Reyes went 0-for-4 in his first game back from a severe ankle sprain the
dynamic shortstop sustained back on April 12, but the Blue Jays received solo
home runs from Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion to bounce back from two
straight losses to the Rays in which the club managed just a pair of runs.
Dickey (7-8) didn't need much support, with the veteran knuckleball specialist
carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning and permitting just three
baserunners in notching his sixth career shutout and first as a member of the
"That's as good of a game as you can pitch, unless it's perfect," Blue Jays
manager John Gibbons remarked.
Counterpart Roberto Hernandez (4-9) put forth a strong effort as well on the
mound, but served up both Toronto homers and allowed all three runs on six
hits over eight-plus innings of work.
"I thought Roberto was fantastic," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "That
probably was his best game all year. The ball was alive, the sinker was very
good, the slider was good. It's just unfortunate we got outpitched today."
Melky Cabrera added an RBI single for Toronto, which had matched a franchise
record by ripping off 11 consecutive victories heading into the series. The
Rays had a three-game win streak halted.
Dickey was in control all throughout the contest, with the 38-year-old
displaying his 2012 Cy Young Award-winning form in setting down the first 13
Tampa hitters until James Loney singled past the glove of a lunging Reyes with
one out in the top of the fifth inning.
"You could tell early on that he had it going," said Gibbons.
Hernandez matched zeros with Dickey through the opening three innings before
running into a bit of trouble in the fourth. Jose Bautista doubled into the
right center-field gap to begin the frame, with Cabrera driving him home two
batters later with a single up the middle.
The Rays right-hander started the sixth by getting two quick outs, but hung a
full-count slider to Lind that was belted over the wall in center to stake
Toronto to a 2-0 edge.
That was more than enough for Dickey, who gave up only one more hit -- a Yunel
Escobar single with one out in the bottom of the sixth that was erased on a
Encarnacion gave Toronto some additional breathing room by leading off the
ninth with his 22nd homer of the season, a towering blast to left that ended
Dickey, who led the National League with five complete games as a member of
the Mets last season, recorded his first in a Toronto uniform ... The Blue
Jays won for only the third time in their last 15 visits to Tropicana Field
... Loney's single extended his hitting streak to eight games, but rookie
teammate Wil Myers had an eight-game tear end after going 0-for-3 ... Dickey
finished with six strikeouts.
06/26 18:12:58 ET
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