Rays beat Blue Jays to split series
St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Archer tossed six solid innings, Evan Longoria hit a three-run homer and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-2, to split a four-game series.
Archer (1-0), who signed a six-year contract on Wednesday, gave up two runs on four hits while striking out seven on Thursday. In 2013, Archer went 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA over 23 starts.
Ben Zobrist, Desmond Jennings and Ryan Hanigan each knocked in a run for Tampa Bay, which had 11 hits. Longoria's homer was the 163rd of his career, tying Carlos Pena for the franchise record.
Brett Lawrie and Dioner Navarro had an RBI apiece for the Blue Jays, who haven't won a series in St. Petersburg since taking two of three from the Rays from April 6-8, 2007.
Brandon Morrow (0-1), making his first start since May 28, 2013, allowed four runs on seven hits over five innings. The right-hander was placed on the disabled list in June and missed the rest of the season with an entrapped radial nerve in his forearm.
The Rays got on the board in the second inning when Matt Joyce scored on Hanigan's single to center. Joyce reached base on a two-out double to right.
Tampa Bay tacked on three more runs in the third. David DeJesus led off with a triple to right that got past a sliding Jose Bautista. DeJesus then scored on Jennings' chopper to left that resulted in a double. Zobrist followed with an RBI single to right. Another run crossed the plate two batters later when James Loney grounded into a double play.
Toronto got two of the runs back in the fourth. Bautista walked and advanced to third on Adam Lind's double to center, which got past a diving Jennings. Navarro followed with a sacrifice fly. Lind used some nice baserunning to score from second on Lawrie's infield single.
The Rays created some distance on Longoria's homer in the seventh. With Esmil Rogers on the mound, DeJesus doubled and Jennings walked. After Zobrist grounded into a fielder's choice, Longoria smacked Rogers' 2-1 pitch over the wall in left to make it a 7-2 game.
Joel Peralta tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Heath Bell pitched a spotless ninth to secure the victory for the Rays.
Tampa Bay outfielder Wil Myers was scratched before the game due to flu-like symptoms ... The Rays placed outfielder Sean Rodriguez on the paternity list and recalled infielder Vince Belnome from Triple-A Durham ... Longoria's home run was the Rays' first of the season.
04/03 23:08:25 ET