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Blue Jays 6, Rays 2

The SportsXchange

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Adam Lind homered twice and J.A. Happ made a successful return to Tropicana Field as the Blue Jays beat the Rays 6-2 before a crowd of 25,036 on Saturday night.

Happ allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings in his third start since he was struck in the head by a line drive here on May 7, an incident that resulted in a skull fracture, a badly sprained knee and three months on the disabled list. He kept the Rays off the bases for three innings, picking up his first win since April 12.

Lind did his part to support Happ, starting the sixth with a solo homer to right-center off Rays starter Roberto Hernandez, then bashing another solo shot in the eighth off reliever Brandon Gomes. It was Lind's first multi-homer game of the season, the ninth of his career and Toronto's ninth multi-homer performance of the year.

The victory snapped the Blue Jays' four-game losing streak against the Rays, who got another disappointing start from Hernandez and failed to provide him with enough run support. Friday night's 5-4 win pulled Tampa Bay within one game of Boston in the American League East standings, but Saturday's loss -- and the Red Sox's 6-1 triumph over the Yankees -- dropped the Rays' deficit back to two games.

Hernandez, the veteran right-hander, allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, bringing his ERA on the year to an even 5.00

Jose Bautista crushed a 1-2 slider from Hernandez deep into the left-field stands for a solo home run to open the scoring in the first inning.

Toronto tacked on two more runs against Hernandez in the third.

Leadoff batter Rajai Davis singled and stole second, took third on Maicer Izturis' groundout and scored on an RBI groundout by Edwin Encarnacion. Bautista, who was hit by a Hernandez pitch with one out, came around to score on a single by Brett Lawrie.

After being held without a base runner through three innings, the Rays chipped away at the Blue Jays' lead in the fourth.

Jason Bourgeois led off the inning with a bunt single, bringing an end to Happ's perfect game. Toronto center fielder Anthony Gose misread Evan Longoria's single to center, allowing both runners to advance. Ben Zobrist lifted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Bourgeois. Shortstop Yunel Escobar, a former Blue Jays, then drove in Longoria on a single to center, bringing the Rays within one run.

NOTES: Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes was out of the starting lineup and won't play Sunday because of soreness in his right knee, but with three days of rest after Monday's off day, he hopes to return Tuesday. ... Tampa Bay CF Desmond Jennings is scheduled to play in a minor league rehabilitation game with high-Class A Charlotte on Sunday night. Jennings has been on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left middle finger since Aug. 6, retroactive to Aug. 4. If all goes well, Jennings is expected to be activated Monday. ... The Rays placed DH Luke Scott on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, because of lower back spasms. Scott is hitting .176 in August and just .111 in his last 15 games dating to July 22. ... With Scott out, Rays manager Joe Maddon has used OF Wil Myers in the DH spot in an effort to rest the 22-year-old rookie's legs for the stretch run. ... Tampa Bay activated RHP Brandon Gomes (right lat strain) from the 60-day disabled list and moved RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) to the 60-day DL. Gomes missed the Rays' last 88 games. Crain is still expected to join the Tampa Bay bullpen in September. ... Toronto INF Munenori Kawasaki, on the paternity list after the birth of his son, is expected to rejoin the team on Tuesday.
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