Toronto at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: J. Shields (2-1) L: J. Litsch (2-1)
S: T. Percival (2)
HR: TOR - V. Wells (4)   TB - E. Longoria (2), E. Hinske (5)

Rays 6, Blue Jays 4 wire reports

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Eric Hinske apologized for booting a ground ball, then spent the rest of the night redeeming himself.

"Any time you make an error in the field, you want to make up for it," the Tampa Bay first baseman said Tuesday night after driving in two runs and finishing a single shy of the cycle in the Rays' 6-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Disney World.

Hinske's fielding error led to one of two unearned runs against right-hander James Shields in the second inning. But instead of brooding, he accepted responsibility and went to work with his bat.

He doubled in the bottom of the second and added a RBI triple off Jesse Litsch (2-1) in the fourth before leading off the sixth with his fifth homer of the season, a solo shot off reliever Jesse Carlson.

Hinske's bid to hit for the cycle fell short when Scott Downs struck him out in the eighth.

"I'll take three hits in a win any day of the week," Hinske said, adding that the only time he's ever hit for the cycle was in a minor league game in which he got the single in the 11th inning.

Rookie Evan Longoria had a solo homer -- his second of the season -- off Litsch in the second inning. Dioner Navarro (finger lacerations) returned from a stint on the 15-day disabled list to deliver two RBI singles against the Blue Jays' starter.

Shields (2-1) allowed four runs and six hits over seven innings to win for the first time since beating Baltimore in Tampa Bay's season opener. Two of Toronto's run were unearned, and the right-hander struck out five and walked two.

The Rays, hoping to broaden fan support in the Orlando area, improved to 4-0 in regular-season games played about 90 miles east of Tropicana Field at Disney. They swept a three-game series from Texas in 2007, and will face the Blue Jays again here Wednesday and Thursday.

Hinske's five homers are one shy of his total for all of last year when he was with Boston. It's also the most he's had in the opening month of a season.

"If you're around him on a daily basis, what he's doing does not surprise you," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "This guy has always been a good hitter. He just hasn't had an opportunity over the last couple of years."

Marco Scutaro drove in two runs and Vernon Wells hit his fourth homer for Toronto, which blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2 while Litsch was on the mound.

"We talked about getting shut-down innings. We needed a couple of them, and he let them right back in," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "When you're having trouble scoring runs, that's huge."

Dan Wheeler pitched the eighth for Tampa Bay, and Troy Percival worked a perfect ninth for his second save in as many opportunities.

Last May's home-away-from-home series against the Rangers drew crowds of 8,443, 8,839 and 9,635 to Disney's Champion Stadium, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves. Tuesday night's game, going head-to-head against an Orlando Magic home playoff date, attracted 8,269.

The Blue Jays scored two second-inning runs off Shields without hitting the ball out of the infield.

The Rays starter walked the first two batters of the inning, then made matters worse when he and Hinske were charged with errors on a play that allowed Toronto to take a 1-0 lead. Scutaro drove in the Blue Jays' second run when he grounded into a force play, then added a RBI single in the fourth.

The Rays countered with two in the bottom of the second off Litsch, then chased the former Tampa Bay bat boy with three runs in the fourth for a 5-3 lead. The big blow in the inning was Hinske's RBI triple down the right field line.

Litsch, now 1-2 in four career starts against his former employers, allowed five runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.


Tampa Bay DH Carlos Pena was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. ... The Rays acquired OF Gabe Gross from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league pitcher Josh Butler. ... Blue Jays 3B Scott Rolen (broken finger), on a rehab assignment with Class A Dunedin, could rejoin the team during the current road trip. ... Pena (right hamstring) was the DH for the third straight game. He might play in the field Wednesday. ... Blue Jays RF Alex Rios was rested. ... With Navarro back in the lineup, Tampa Bay designated C Mike DiFelice for assignment.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

E. Hinske
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
Tampa Bay

D. Navarro
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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David Eckstein, SS4000000 .256
Aaron Hill, 2B4010010 .309
Matt Stairs, DH4010011 .320
Vernon Wells, CF4111001 .293
Lyle Overbay, 1B3100110 .268
Shannon Stewart, LF3210110 .220
Gregg Zaun, C4010010 .263
Marco Scutaro, 3B3012010 .196
Joe Inglett, RF3000003 .321
HR - Vernon Wells (4, Shields)
RBI - Vernon Wells (16), Marco Scutaro 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Marco Scutaro (1)
CS - Marco Scutaro (2, 2nd base by Shields/Navarro)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Zaun-Eckstein, Eckstein-Hill-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Jesse Litsch (L,2-1) 3.1855241 6.16
Jesse Carlson 2.1111031 1.74
Shawn Camp 1100000 0.00
Scott Downs 1.1200040 0.82
WP - Scott Downs (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Litsch 76-49, Jesse Carlson 24-17, Shawn Camp 10-6, Scott Downs 24-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Litsch 4-0, Jesse Carlson 2-2, Shawn Camp 1-2
Batters Faced - Jesse Litsch 18, Jesse Carlson 8, Shawn Camp 4, Scott Downs 6
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4010000 .218
Carl Crawford, LF4020002 .276
B.J. Upton, CF4000012 .320
Carlos Pena, DH4000041 .194
Evan Longoria, 3B3211120 .242
Eric Hinske, 1B4332010 .327
Dioner Navarro, C4132000 .462
Nathan Haynes, RF3010111 .257
Jason Bartlett, SS4011022 .212
2B - Eric Hinske (5, Litsch)
3B - Eric Hinske (1, Litsch)
HR - Evan Longoria (2, Litsch), Eric Hinske (5, Carlson)
RBI - Evan Longoria (5), Eric Hinske 2 (10), Dioner Navarro 2 (3), Jason Bartlett (6)
SB - Carl Crawford (5, 2nd base off Camp/Zaun)
CS - Dioner Navarro (2, 2nd base by Litsch/Zaun)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Hinske-Bartlett
E - Eric Hinske (1, Misplayed grounder(Runners advanced one base on Hinske's error; Overbay), James Shields (1, Missed catch of throw(Runners advanced one base on Hinske's error; Over)
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (W,2-1) 7642251 3.30
Dan Wheeler (H,4) 1000000 1.80
Troy Percival (S,2) 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 109-69, Dan Wheeler 10-5, Troy Percival 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 10-5, Troy Percival 1-1
Batters Faced - James Shields 28, Dan Wheeler 3, Troy Percival 3
Game Information
Attendance - 8269
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Tim McClelland