TORONTO — Sean Rodriguez hit a
go-ahead, three-run double in a wild ninth inning that featured two
ejections and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to beat Toronto 7-6 on Tuesday
The Blue Jays led 5-3 to begin the
inning, but Carl Crawford drew a one-out walk and stole second. He was
nearly picked off second, but ended up at third after Kevin Gregg's throwing
error sent the ball into center field.
Evan Longoria walked to put runners on
the corners for Carlos Pena, who struck out looking after he was denied
a timeout call by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez.
Rays manager Joe Maddon came out to
argue and was ejected by Hernandez, his second ejection of the season.
Maddon also argued with crew chief Joe West at third base, then jawed
with Hernandez again before leaving the field.
Gregg (0-2) loaded the bases by
walking pinch-hitter John Jaso, then made it 5-4 by walking Ben Zobrist.
Rodriguez followed with a double to center that Vernon Wells bobbled,
allowing all three runners to score.
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston replaced
Gregg with left-hander Rommie Lewis after Dioner Navarro walked. Gregg
was ejected by Hernandez for arguing as he walked off the mound and had
to be restrained by bench coach Nick Leyva.
Grant Balfour (1-1) pitched 1 1/3
innings for the win. Rays closer Rafael Soriano gave up Wells' RBI
double in the ninth but got Jose Bautista to end it with a fly to left,
giving him his 15th save in as many chances.
Fred Lewis gave the Blue Jays an early
lead when he led off the bottom of the first with a homer to right, his
Toronto made it 4-0 in the fifth when
John Buck hit a solo homer to center, his ninth, and Adam Lind followed
back-to-back singles by Lewis and Aaron Hill with a two-out, two-run
triple to right.
Buck's sacrifice fly made it 5-0 in
the sixth, but the Rays closed the gap with a three-run seventh.
Tampa Bay right-hander Jeff Niemann
allowed a season-high five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He
walked one and struck out four.
After being out since April 17 with a
strained left forearm, Toronto's Brian Tallet came off the disabled
list to pitch 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing four hits. He walked three
and struck out four.
The Blue Jays lead the majors
with 91 homers. … Lewis has an AL-leading 19 doubles in 40 games since
joining Toronto in an April 15 trade from San Francisco. … The Blue
Jays traded LHP Dana Eveland to Pittsburgh for Double-A RHP Ronald
Uviedo. Eveland had been designated for assignment last week. … Rays
SS Jason Bartlett (right hamstring) felt sore after pregame drills and
is not expected to play until Saturday, Maddon said, adding that
Bartlett's chances of landing on the DL are "50-50."