Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jays split opening series

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Two rough innings cost the Toronto Blue Jays a chance to open the season with a series win.
They’ll take it, though, because it’s better than they usually do here.

Brandon Morrow gave up four runs and seven hits over five innings in his first start since last May 28 as the Jays lost 7-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays last night for a split of their four-game series.
“I think a split’s good, coming out of here,” Morrow noted. “It’s tough, the first series of the year.
“Obviously we would have loved to win this game, but it’s still positive to come in and play well for the most part,” he added.
Since last winning a series back in April, 2007, Toronto now has lost 19 road series and split two against the Rays.
“Against those four starters they threw at us, to get two wins, you’ve got to feel good, especially after getting knocked around a little bit that first game,” said Jays’ manager John Gibbons.
“So we’ll go home feeling good.”
The Jays open a three-game series at home tonight against the N.Y. Yankees.
“We’re excited,” Gibbons said. “It seems like we’ve been down in Florida forever.
“Actually we really have, so it’ll be good to get home in front of a friendly crowd,” he reasoned.
Chris Archer threw six solid innings, Evan Longoria hit a three-run homer, and the Rays put together four-straight hits off Morrow (0-1) to score three runs in the third.
Archer (1-0) allowed two runs, four hits, two walks, and had seven strikeouts a day after agreeing to a six-year, $25.5-million deal.
Longoria hit Tampa Bay’s only home run of the series off Esmil Rogers in the seventh.
Morrow, who missed the final four months last season due to an entrapped radial nerve in his right forearm, was victimized by consecutive back-to-back choppers through the infield by Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist in the Rays’ three-run third.
Longoria followed with a single and it took a double play to limit the damage to three runs.
“It was just one of those things where you think you threw better than the end results,” Morrow said.
“But to their credit, they did their job.
“They weren’t trying to do too much,” he noted. “They weren’t giving away at-bats.”
Toronto got to 4-2 in the fourth on Dioner Navarro’s sacrifice fly and an RBI infield single from Brett Lawrie.
Elsewhere in the AL, Minnesota topped Chicago 10-9, Boston edged Baltimore 4-3, New York doubled Houston 4-2, and Oakland nipped Seattle 3-2 (12 innings).
Kansas City at Detroit was rained out.

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