The Rays’ bats were hot Tuesday night in their 8-5 victory over the Blue Jays, after a couple games of shallow hitting. Matt Moore started the game but could not go long enough to record the win. 

A solo home run from Luke Scott got the scoring started in the second inning. 

The Rays broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. Drew Sutton, who made his Rays and 2012 MLB debut last night, smacked a double to right field to make it a 2-0 game. Sutton then scored on a fielders' choice to give the Rays a three-run lead. Later in the inning, Carlos Pena delivered the big blow. Batting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, Pena blasted 450+ foot three-run blast to straightaway center that landed on top of the Batters' Eye.

Maddon continues to prove that his unique tactics are working, as placing struggling sluggers in the No. 1 hole is a common move for Joe. It's ended slumps in the past, and let's hope that it just ended another one last night.

Down six runs, Toronto started to creep back in the top of the fifth. Jose Bautista got the Jays on the board, knocking in two with an RBI single. One batter later, the Jays added two more runs via another throwing error by Sean Rodriguez, who manned third again last night. The injuries continue to kill the Rays just as much defensively as offensively.

The Rays struck back in the bottom half of the inning, taking a three-run lead on an RBI single from Chris Gimenez. The Jays would quickly get that run back in the sixth, however, as Yan Gomes belted a solo shot.

In the bottom half of the inning, B.J. Upton gave the Rays an insurance run with his fourth homer of the year. The back end of the 'pen got the job done, finished off by Fernando Rodney who stayed perfect with his 14th save of the season.

The Rays improve to 26-18 (16-7 at home) on the season, and remain two games out of first. They stay 5.5 games up on New York (won 3-2 against KC), and gain a game on Boston (lost 4-1 to Baltimore).

Notable stat lines

  • Matt Moore 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K.
  • Drew Hutchison (L,3-2) 4 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 K. 
  • Wade Davis (W,1-0) 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 K.
  • Fernando Rodney (S,14) 1 IP, 2 K. (0.44 ERA)
  • Carlos Pena 2-5. HR, 3 RBI
  • B.J. Upton 2-5. HR, RBI
  • Luke Scott 2-4. HR, RBI, 2B
  • Drew Sutton  2-4. 2B, RBI
  • Elliot Johnson  3-4, R
  • click here for a full box score

Win expectancy chart:

News and notes

  • The next Rays game will be Wednesday night 1:10 PM at Tropicana Field. It will be a battle of aces as James Shields and Ricky Romero will take the mound.
  • Hideki Matsui is hitting .133 with four RBI and no homers after eight games with AAA Durham.