Johnson, Villanueva lead Jays past Rays
Toronto, ON – Kelly Johnson hit a two-run double in the first inning and Carlos Villanueva tossed six scoreless frames, as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-0, in the opener of a four-game series.
Villanueva (7-4) gave up five hits while striking out seven and walking one for the Blue Jays, who have won three of four. Darren Oliver, Brad Lincoln and Casey Janssen each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
"Obviously a well pitched ball game here tonight for all four guys that took the mound," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "Carlos was fighting a low- grade fever all afternoon and during the six innings he pitched tonight, but he was once again outstanding."
Matt Moore (10-8) allowed two runs on six hits over six innings for the Rays, who have lost five of six and sit 4 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.
"Matt wasn't really sharp, but he got through it well," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Only giving up two runs, you would like to believe a starter wins that game. Bullpen did a great job once again. Their (Toronto) guy pitched well too and their bullpen was good."
The Blue Jays scored the only two runs of the game in the first inning. With two outs, Edwin Encarnacion walked, Adam Lind singled and Yunel Escobar walked to load the bases. Johnson followed with a two-run double to right field.
The Rays had a great chance to get on the board after putting their first two men on in the second. Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce hit consecutive singles and advanced one base on Jeff Keppinger's sacrifice bunt. But Luke Scott fouled out and Jose Lobaton struck out looking to end the threat.
Tampa Bay failed to advance a runner past second base for the remainder of the game.
The Rays had won five straight games against the Blue Jays ... Tampa Bay leads the season series by a 9-3 margin ... Moore came into Thursday's game with a 4-0 mark in his previous six starts ... Villanueva was 0-4 over his past five starts ... Johnson went 3-for-4 ... Janssen picked up his 18th save of the season ... Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista will undergo season-ending surgery on his left wrist on Tuesday.