Scutaro and Rios hit homers in Blue Jays’ win
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Toronto turned key hits into a rare road victory.
Scutaro hit a three-run homer off Edwin Jackson (5-7) during the fifth to put the Blue Jays ahead 6-4. Rios had a two-run homer in the third and added a run-scoring double during a three-run seventh that extended Toronto’s lead to 9-4.
“It was one of those days where you could relax a little bit,” Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. “We had a couple guys get some big hits and that’s what we have to do win. Rios had a great day. Scutaro got us going.”
Reliever Shawn Camp (3-1) threw 1 2-3 scoreless innings for the win. The Blue Jays won for just the fourth time in their last 17 road games.
“Two out of three ain’t bad,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We did not pitch like we normally do today, and that’s why they beat us.”
Carl Crawford hit an RBI grounder before Longoria and Pena launched home runs against John Parrish to give the Rays a 4-3 lead in third. Longoria, who fouled two balls off his left ankle before hitting a grand slam off Toronto ace Roy Halladay Saturday, was the designated hitter instead of at third base.
The Blue Jays went up 3-1 on Rios’ two-run homer in the top of third. Rios has two hits—both homers—in 17 at-bats against Jackson.
Rios hadn’t homered in his previous 71 at-bats, dating back to June 24. He finished 3-for-5 with two doubles.
“It’s great,” said Rios, who has five homers this season. “I don’t have a bunch, but when I get one they’re good.”
Adam Lind had a run-scoring single to give Toronto a 1-0 lead in the second, and also hit a seventh-inning sacrifice fly. He has 19 RBIs in 20 games since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on June 21.
Parrish allowed four runs and four hits in three innings.
“I really didn’t think he had his good stuff,” Gaston said. “Physically he’s OK. Location wasn’t there.”
Jackson went 4 1-3 innings, giving up six runs and eight hits.
“It’s a game of mistakes and today they made me pay,” Jackson said. “It was one of those days where it wasn’t my day.”
Tampa Bay activated closer Troy Percival (strained left hamstring) from the 15-day disabled list before the game, and he allowed one hit and hit a batter during a scoreless ninth.
“I didn’t feel any problems,” Percival said. “My mechanics were a little bit off. I’m still able to throw my fastball where I wanted it. I needed to see some hitters in a live situation, and now I feel confident that I can go out there and do what I need to do.”
Tampa Bay went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Over the last 10 games, the Rays are 8-for-74 in those situations. … Gaston would not name Rod Barajas as the starting catcher over Zaun, but said Barajas would “do a little bit more of the catching.” … The Rays put reliever Gary Glover (strained left calf) on the 15-day disabled list. … Gaston has been impressed by the defensive play of Toronto 3B Scott Rolen. “Probably the best third baseman I’ve ever seen,” Gaston said. … Longoria has 18 homers this season. The only AL rookie to have more on July 20 in the last 20 years was Angels’ slugger Tim Salmon, who had 20 in 1993.