ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brett Cecil
pitched into the seventh inning in his first appearance of the season,
Alex Gonzalez had two RBIs during a four-run first and the Toronto Blue
Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Friday night.
Cecil (1-0), recalled from Triple-A
Las Vegas to replace the injured Brian Tallet (left forearm tightness),
gave up four runs, six hits, one walk and struck out eight in 6 2/3
innings. The left-hander departed after allowing Gabe Kapler's two-run
homer in the seventh that got Tampa Bay within 6-4.
Vernon Wells hit an RBI double,
Gonzalez drove in two with a single and Jose Bautista added a
run-scoring double as the Blue Jays took a 4-0 lead in the first.
Toronto has won six straight road games, which equals the Blue Jays'
best stretch since a six-game run in Sept. 2003.
Matt Garza (3-1) allowed five runs
and eight hits in five innings for the Rays, who returned home after
completing a 9-1 road trip. The right-hander had given up just three
runs — two earned — over 24 innings in his previous three starts this
B.J. Upton's RBI single in the eighth cut the Rays deficit to 6-5.
Kevin Gregg pitched the final 1 1-3 innings for his fifth save.
Toronto loaded the bases with two
outs in the second, but failed to score when Gonzalez grounded out.
Lyle Overbay's RBI double made it 5-0 during the fourth.
Willy Aybar had a fifth-inning solo homer off Cecil. Ben Zobrist hit a run-scoring double one inning later.
Toronto's Aaron Hill hit a solo homer
during the sixth in his first game since being sidelined April 8 by
right hamstring tightness.
Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro was
ejected in the sixth by plate umpire Dan Bellino for arguing about a
pitch to Adam Lind that was called a ball. TV replays appeared to show
the call was correct.
Garza threw 41 pitches during
the first. He finished with six strikeouts and four walks. … Rays LHP
J.P. Howell (left shoulder strain) plans to throw off a mound early
next week. The reliever is expected to be out until mid to late May.
… Cuban SS prospect Adeiny Hechavarria is set to play for Toronto's
extended spring training team this weekend. The 21-year old agreed to a
$10 million, four-year contract with the Blue Jays earlier this month.