Toronto, ON – Brandon Morrow hurled 6 2/3 effective innings on Friday and the Toronto Blue Jays edged the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Rogers Centre.
Morrow (8-5) gave up one run on eight hits and a walk with five strikeouts to put an end to a personal two-game losing streak. Steve Delabar worked 1 1/3 perfect innings in relief and Casey Janssen was bailed out of trouble in the ninth inning to earn his 19th save of the season.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo home run, while Moises Sierra smoked a solo homer and helped out defensively by throwing out Elliot Johnson at the plate for the final out of the game.
Desmond Jennings accounted for the lone run with a homer and Jeremy Hellickson (8-10) took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits over six-plus innings for the Rays, who have lost six of their last seven.
The Rays opened the scoring in the third inning after Jennings led off the frame with a towering fly ball to center that carried beyond the wall for his 11th home run of the season
Sierra tied the game in the home half when he launched a solo shot over the wall in left and the Jays took the lead in their next at-bat.
After Colby Rasmus flied out to begin the fourth, Encarnacion got a fastball from Hellickson and deposited it into the stands in straightaway center field to make it 2-1.
Jeff Keppinger ripped a base hit off Janssen to begin the ninth and the pinch- runner Johnson moved into scoring position on a fly out to left by Luke Scott. Ryan Roberts struck out, but pinch-hitter Carlos Pena followed with a base hit to right.
Sierra played the ball on a high hop and fired a strike to catcher Jeff Mathis, who held on to the ball despite getting run over by Johnson to preserve the victory for Toronto.
Despite the loss, the Rays lead the season series between the teams, 9-4 ... Tampa Bay has lost 11 of its last 12 one-run contests ... The Rays finished the month of August with a 17-11 record. It was their sixth consecutive winning August and they are a major league-best 88-52 in August since 2008 ... During the game, it was announced that the Rays acquired outfielder Ben Francisco from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later ... Toronto improved to 10-20 in one-run games this season.