ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Maicer Izturis' ninth-inning home run off reliever Joel Peralta powered Toronto's second ninth-inning comeback in two nights as the Blue Jays rallied for a 6-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
How the Blue Jays remember the game -- and their first three-game win streak of the season -- will likely depend greatly on the health of starting pitcher J.A. Happ, who was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Desmond Jennings in the second inning.
Happ was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to Bayfront Medical. He crumbled to the ground clutching his temple -- he appeared to be bleeding from his left ear area -- as the ball rolled down the right-field line. Catcher J.P. Arencibia began gesturing emphatically for help before the play was over, and medical personnel rushed to the mound as players -- some appearing emotional -- kneeled nearby. Jennings, who ran the bases clutching his helmet in dismay, stood on third base with his uniform shirt in his mouth, gazing at the scene.
Happ was removed in a head brace on a stretcher after 11 minutes and appeared to be gesturing and speaking with paramedics.
Trailing 4-1, the Blue Jays rallied to tie the game off relievers Jake McGee, Kyle Farnsworth and Peralta after starter Roberto Hernandez left after six innings. McGee slogged through another rough inning, allowing a two-run homer to Colby Rasmus.
The homer was Rasmus' second in two games this series and sixth of the season.
Toronto (13-21) tied the game in the eighth on consecutive doubles by Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista. Cesar Ramos entered with runners on first and third and one out and got out of jam thanks to an inning-ending double play.
Peralta retired one batter in the ninth before Izturis hit his third homer of the season. He then surrendered a single to Brett Lawrie and an RBI double to Cabrera, who went 3-for-5.
The Rays (14-18) scored four times in the second to take a 4-1 lead. A wild pitch scored one run and two came home on Jennings triple. Ryan Roberts single off reliever Brad Lincoln scored Jennings. Happ was charged with all four earned runs on five hits in 1.1 innings.
Hernandez allowed one run on five hits in six innings. He left with a lead for just the second time in six starts.
Adam Lind's first home run of the season pushed Toronto ahead, 1-0, in the second inning.
Steve Delabar (3-1) earned the win in relief. Casey Janssen recorded his tenth save.
NOTES: Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected by home plate umpire Marty Foster while arguing a putout of Sean Rodriguez at home on a squeeze bunt in the second inning. Replays appeared to show Rodriguez grazing the plate as he avoided Arencibia's swipe, but the runner was called out when the catcher tagged him away from home plate. ... The Rays are the only major league team to have their starters work at least five innings in every game this season. They are one of five teams since 1916 (as far back as records are available) to accomplish the feat in the first 32 games of a season. ... Tampa Bay RF Ben Zobrist returned to the lineup after missing two games following the death of his grandmother. ... Toronto has lost 17 consecutive road series against the Rays (16 at Tropicana Field, one at Disney's Wide World of Sports in 2008), which is the third longest in American League history. The St. Louis Browns lost 19 straight to the New York Yankees from 1946-51 and 18 in a row to the Boston Red Sox from 1949-53.