Tampa Bay 7 Toronto 1
TORONTO — Luke Scott and Sean Rodriguez each drove in two runs in a six-run fifth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 Monday.
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow (4-2) was foiled in his attempt for his fifth consecutive win when first baseman Adam Lind’s error led to the five unearned runs in the Rays’ big fifth inning.
It was the second loss in a row for the Blue Jays (19-17), who opened a seven-game home stand after returning from a 5-5 trip. It was the second win in a row for the Rays (22-14).
Ben Zobrist led off the ninth with his sixth homer of the season against reliever Carlos Villanueva.
Morrow, who allowed a total of two earned runs in his previous four starts, appeared on his way to another good outing as he entered the fifth inning with a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead. But the right-hander ended up taking his first loss since April 18, also against the Rays.
The Blue Jays took the lead in the second inning. Kelly Johnson drove in the run with a single against reliever Cesar Ramos (1-0) who pitched three innings, allowing two hits and three walks. The left-hander replaced starting pitcher Jeff Niemann, who pitched only one inning after being hit on the ankle by Lind’s first-inning groundout.
X-rays revealed Niemann suffered a small fracture to right fibula. There is no timetable for his return.
Lind has always had success against Niemann. He entered the game batting .464 (13-for-28) in his career with three home runs and nine runs batted in against the right-hander, and on that basis he was batting fourth after being dropped to eighth in the order for his previous four games.
Ramos allowed two-out walks to Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia before Johnson singled.
Morrow walked three and struck out six entering the fifth when Will Rhymes ended his no-hitter with a leadoff double, a slice down the left-field line. Elliot Johnson scored him with a one-out single to centre.
The Rays kept the inning going when Zobrist forced Johnson at second and B.J. Upton walked. Lind committed his second error of the game on Matt Joyce’s grounder to first. Morrow took Lind’s throw at the bag and thought he had the out and ignored Zobrist, who came around to score from second.
The inning appeared to be over again when Carlos Pena struck out but he reached first base on the wild pitch. Scott singled in two runs and Rodriguez doubled in two more to make the score 6-1.