Hellickson Wins Again, Rays Beat Blue Jays 4-3
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TORONTO (AP) — Jeremy Hellickson won his fifth straight decision, Desmond Jennings reached base four times and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Saturday for their 16th win in 18 games.
Rookie Wil Myers had two RBIs in his first career start as the cleanup hitter. Myers, who finished 2 for 4, has nine hits in his past 17 at bats.
Jennings went 3 for 4 with a walk and scored twice.
Since starting the season 14-18, the Rays are a major league-best 43-23 since May 8.
Toronto’s Jose Bautista homered for the second straight game but the last-place Blue Jays lost for the fifth time in six games.
Hellickson (9-3) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, walked three and struck out three. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his past six starts.
Alex Torres was perfect in the sixth and seventh but left after walking Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to begin the eighth. Joel Peralta came on and loaded the bases by walking Adam Lind, but escaped by getting Colby Rasmus to foul out, striking out Maicer Izturis looking and fanning J.P. Arencibia on a 3-2 pitch.
Fernando Rodney’s fielding error allowed Brett Lawrie to score from third on Encarnacion’s infield chopper in the ninth. Rodney responded by getting Lind to fly out, wrapping up his 23rd save in 28 chances.
Left-hander Mark Buehrle (5-7) lost his second straight start, giving up four runs, three earned, in seven innings. The 10 hits he allowed matched a season-high. He walked three and struck out five.
Buehrle lost at home for the first time since May 1 against Boston. He’s 4-2 in 10 home starts this season but 1-5 in 10 road outings.
Myers gave the Rays the lead with a sacrifice fly in the first, and Tampa Bay scored three more off Buehrle in the third. Sam Fuld and Jennings both singled and Ben Zobrist walked to load the bases before Evan Longoria drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder. Myers followed with an RBI single and a third run scored when second baseman Brett Lawrie made a throwing error on Ryan Roberts’ grounder.
Bautista got the Blue Jays on the board with a two-out homer in the bottom half, his 22nd. Encarnacion followed with a double and Lind walked, but Hellickson struck out Rasmus to end the threat.
Rays DH Luke Scott singled to begin the eighth, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.
NOTES: Rays SS Yunel Escobar (right hamstring) missed his second straight game. Manager Joe Maddon said Escobar likely won’t return until Monday. … Tampa Bay is 23-22 on the road. … A group of about 1,000 Montreal Expos fans sat in the left field seats, part of an effort to try and lure a big league team back to Quebec. … Former Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado will be honored before Sunday’s game when his name is added to the team’s Level of Excellence. … Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (4-2) will face Toronto RHP R.A. Dickey (8-10) in Sunday’s series finale.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.