MLB

Rays flex muscles late, power past Blue Jays in first game of series

TORONTO (AP) -- Logan Morrison hit a two-run homer, Evan Longoria and Corey Dickerson added solo shots and the Tampa Bay Rays connected three times in the eighth inning to beat the struggling Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 on Friday night.

Derek Norris added a solo homer in the ninth. He had two hits and two RBIs.

Kevin Pillar homered and reached base five times for the Blue Jays, who lost their third straight. Toronto's 6-17 start is the worst in franchise history.

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Pillar's leadoff drive off Austin Pruitt (3-0) in the seventh gave the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead.

Dickerson homered off Marcus Stroman in the eighth and Longoria's shot against Jason Grilli (1-3) tied the score, giving Toronto its big-league high eighth blown save.

Brad Miller walked, Steven Souza struck out and Dominic Leone came on to face Morrison, who homered into the center field party deck.

Dickerson's homer was his sixth, matching Longoria (2013) for the Rays record in April.

Pruitt pitched three innings, and Chase Whitley got two outs for his first big league save.

Tampa Bay's Blake Snell allowed two runs and six hits in five innings -- he has failed to pitch into the sixth inning in four consecutive starts.

Pillar scored three runs and came within a triple of the cycle. He singled in the first, walked in the third, doubled in the fifth, homered in the seventh and doubled in the ninth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: OF Colby Rasmus (hip surgery) was held out of his rehab game at Double-A Montgomery because of an illness. He is expected to play Saturday and Sunday and could rejoin the Rays on Monday.

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez remains on pace to come off the DL and start Sunday's series finale after throwing a side session Friday. … 3B Josh Donaldson (right calf) and SS Troy Tulowitzki (right hamstring) will travel to Toronto's spring training facility following this three-game series to continue their rehab. … Toronto designated C Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment and optioned RHP Casey Lawrence to Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Jays selected the contract of C Luke Maile and recalled LHP Matt Dermody.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Matt Andriese (1-0, 3.86) is 0-0 with a 4.05 ERA in two starts at Rogers Centre. Andriese did not finish the fourth inning in either of those games.

Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (1-2, 4.58) allowed five runs in one-third of an inning in his season-opening start at Tampa Bay. In three starts since, he has a 2.08 ERA.