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(Wednesday, May 8th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 10, Toronto 4
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Evan Longoria homered and drove in three runs during a three-hit night, and Kelly Johnson went 3-for-4 with a two-run blast to power the Tampa Bay Rays over the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-4, in the third installment of a four-game series at Tropicana Field.
Matt Moore (6-0) didn't have his best stuff, allowing two runs on six hits and four walks over five innings, but it was enough to stay undefeated as the Rays backed him with 13 hits.
Luke Scott and James Loney each added a pair of RBI, while Ben Zobrist reached base four times, scored three runs and knocked in another for the victors.
"It's been kind of difficult lately," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The two losses in Kansas City were not fun, even the loss in Denver was not fun, and the two losses here. None of them have been fun. I believe we came to play every day after those tough losses. I don't think we mailed anything in after those tough losses, and that's what I really appreciate about this group."
Toronto had its three-game win streak snapped, but the club received good news earlier Wednesday when it was announced J.A. Happ was "doing well" after being released from the hospital. Happ was carried off the field on a stretcher Tuesday when he was struck by a line drive and sustained a head contusion.
The Blue Jays actually jumped out to an early lead on Edwin Encarnacion's two- run homer to straightaway center in the first, but the embattled Ricky Romero (0-2) recorded just one out in the bottom half before getting the quick hook.
Romero, an All-Star in 2011, started the year in the minor leagues following a disappointing campaign last season, and in his second start the left-hander continued his downward spiral. Two walks and a single loaded the bases, and Longoria, Loney and Scott all plated runs with base hits.
"I'm a competitor, I work hard and I put so much effort, so much work into everything that I've done and I don't see it as a step back, but obviously the statistics don't show that. But you hold your head high and continue to work," Romero said.
Edgar Gonzalez relieved Romero after Scott's single and retired the next two hitters to keep it a 3-2 game, but Johnson doubled off the middle reliever in the second and scored on Zobrist's single for a two-run lead.
Coming in, the Rays had lost 13 games in which they held a lead, including the first two of the series, but they tacked on enough runs in this one to win going away.
Gonzalez, recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take Happ's place on the roster, was still in the game when Longoria took him deep down the left-field line in the fourth for a two-run homer and a 6-2 cushion.
After Moore struck out Mark DeRosa to leave the bases loaded in the fifth, Johnson ended Gonzalez's extended relief stint with a two-run moonshot into the right-field seats in the sixth. The Rays pushed two more across in the frame via Loney's run-scoring double and Scott's sacrifice fly.
Encarnacion's sac fly and DeRosa's RBI single in the seventh accounted for the final score.
Maddon, who picked up win No. 600 as Tampa Bay's manager, was ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Scott Barry for arguing a foul ball call ... Romero has lost 15 of his last 16 decisions ... Gonzalez lasted 4 2/3 innings and was charged with five runs on six hits ... Toronto went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position ... The Jays can still win their first road series against Tampa Bay since April 2007 when R.A. Dickey faces David Price in Thursday's finale.
05/09 03:35:25 ET