Published May 31, 2010
TORONTO (AP) — Brandon Morrow pitched seven strong innings, and the Toronto Blue Jays threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth inning to preserve their 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.
Evan Longoria tripled off Kevin Gregg with one out in the ninth, but he was thrown out trying to score on John Jaso's grounder to shortstop for the second out. Gabe Kapler ended it by grounding into a fielder's choice, giving Gregg his 14th save in 16 chances.
Adam Lind hit a two-run home run for Toronto.
Morrow (4-4) left to a standing ovation when he was replaced after Jaso's leadoff single in the eighth. He gave up one run and three hits, walked two and struck out one.
Left-hander Scott Downs came on and struck out pinch-hitter Kapler, then gave up an RBI triple to B.J. Upton.
Morrow didn't allow a hit until Rodriguez beat out an infield grounder with two outs in the sixth, touching the base just before Lyle Overbay caught a bouncing throw from shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Rodriguez was promptly picked off by catcher Jose Molina.
Morrow issued leadoff walks to Upton in the third and Carlos Pena in the fifth, but got double plays both times, spearing a hard comebacker from Jaso to start a 1-6-3 double play in the fifth.
Zobrist singled up the middle to begin the seventh but was erased on Carl Crawford's fielder's choice. After Longoria flied out, Pena launched a drive to deep center that Vernon Wells hauled in with a leaping catch up against the wall.
Lind hit a two-run homer to left off Matt Garza (5-4) in the first, his eighth and first since May 21.
The Blue Jays, who lead the major leagues with 89 home runs, finished May with a club record 54 homers. That's the most by any team in a single month since Atlanta hit 55 in May, 2003. The major league record for home runs in a month is 58, set by Baltimore in May, 1987 and matched by Seattle in May, 1999.
Toronto made it 3-0 in the fifth when Fred Lewis doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Aaron Hill's bloop single.
Garza came in 5-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 11 previous starts against Toronto but has lost to the Blue Jays twice this season. The right-hander, now winless in five starts, allowed three runs and a season high 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Garza gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings of a 6-5 home loss to the Blue Jays on April 23.
NOTES: Rays C Kelly Shoppach, out since April 11 following right knee surgery, went 1 for 3 with a two-run single in the first game of his rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham. ... Rays SS Jason Bartlett (right hamstring) missed his second straight game and will not start in this series, manager Joe Maddon said. If he improves, Bartlett could come off the bench. ... Tampa Bay OF Matt Joyce (right elbow) has been returned from his rehab assignment and optioned to Triple-A. ... Toronto OF Travis Snider, out since May 15 with a sore right wrist, has resumed swinging but has not begun hitting, manager Cito Gaston said. ... Attendance was 11,335.