Brett Cecil Wins Fifth Consecutive Start, Blue Jays Beat Rays


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brett Cecil won his fifth consecutive start, Alex Gonzalez homered and drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Thursday night.

Cecil (7-2) allowed one run and three hits over 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander has given up six earned runs in 36 1/3 innings over that stretch.

The Blue Jays had been outscored 19-1 in losing the first two games of the three-game series.

Carlos Pena
hit his 129th homer with Tampa Bay, which set a franchise record. The Rays have won six of nine against Toronto this season.

Tampa Bay All-Star left fielder Carl Crawford was out of the starting lineup for the second time in the past three games for what Rays manager Joe Maddon called "preventative maintenance." Crawford did pinch run and steal second in the ninth.

"There's nothing wrong," Maddon said. "We just want to get him off his feet, especially on the [artificial] turf. He's always had trouble with this particular field."

Maddon said Crawford will play in all three games of an interleague series with Florida that starts on Friday.

Kevin Gregg, who allowed a solo homer to Sean Rodriguez, pitched the ninth to record his 15th save.

Rays right-hander Wade Davis (5-6) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings.

Gonzalez put the Blue Jays up 1-0 on a second-inning homer. The Blue Jays, who lead the majors with 98 homers, had not gone deep in the previous 20 innings.

Pena tied it at 1 in the bottom of the second on his fifth homer over the past four games.

Toronto went up 2-1 in the third on Adam Lind's RBI single. Gonzalez added an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston spoke highly of Tampa Bay's rotation, saying the Rays "probably have the best five starters in baseball." … Rays C Dioner Navarro didn't play due to a stiff neck. … Toronto placed INF John McDonald on the bereavement list and purchased the contract of minor league OF Dewayne Wise. … Tampa Bay SS Jason Bartlett, on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring, remains on track to return next week. … It was the Rays' 1,000th regular-season home game. Tampa Bay is 490-510.

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