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Toronto at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: B. Cecil (7-2) L: W. Davis (5-6)
S: K. Gregg (15)
HR: TOR - A. Gonzalez (13)   TB - C. Pena (13), S. Rodriguez (3)

Blue Jays 3, Rays 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Toronto needed a strong start from Brett Cecil, and the left-hander delivered.

Cecil won his fifth consecutive start, Alex Gonzalez homered and drove in two runs and the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Thursday night.

"Cecil pitched a great ballgame for us," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "We needed a win."

Cecil (7-2) allowed one run and three hits over 6 2/3 innings. He has given up six earned runs in 36 1/3 innings over that stretch.

"I didn't think I had my best stuff, so you had to battle with location," Cecil said. "Location-wise it wasn't there. It's a meaningful win for me to battle like that."

Cecil is the first Toronto left-hander since Gustavo Chacin (Oct. 2, 2005-Apr. 25, 2006) to win five straight starts.

The Blue Jays had been outscored 19-1 in losing the first two games of the three-game series.

"It's a great win for us after the first two games," Cecil said.

Carlos Pena hit his 129th homer with Tampa Bay, which set a franchise record. The Rays have won six of nine against Toronto this season.

"I'm extremely grateful to have an opportunity to do something like this," Pena said. "A very special day for me. It would have been a lot better if we would have gotten that win."

Tampa Bay All-Star left fielder Carl Crawford was out of the starting lineup for the second time in the past three games for what Rays manager Joe Maddon called "preventative maintenance." Crawford did pinch run and steal second in the ninth.

"There's nothing wrong," Maddon said. "We just want to get him off his feet, especially on the [artificial] turf. He's always had trouble with this particular field."

Maddon said Crawford will play in all three games of an interleague series with Florida that starts on Friday.

Kevin Gregg, who allowed a leadoff homer to Sean Rodriguez, pitched the ninth to record his 15th save. He struck out Hank Blalock with two on and two out.

"He got the job done. It wasn't easy," Gaston said. "It's never too easy beating that club over there."

Rays right-hander Wade Davis (5-6) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings.

Gonzalez put the Blue Jays up 1-0 on a second-inning homer. The Blue Jays, who lead the majors with 98 homers, had not gone deep in the previous 20 innings.

Pena tied it at 1 in the bottom of the second on his fifth homer over the past four games.

"We gave ourselves a great shot," Pena said. "We're going to lose some games. It's good to see even when we come up short, at the same time we give ourselves a good opportunity to come out victorious at the end."

Toronto went up 2-1 in the third on Adam Lind's RBI single. Gonzalez added an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.


Tampa Bay signed Georgia Tech SS Derek Dietrich, taken in the second round of this year's amateur draft. ... Gaston spoke highly of Tampa Bay's rotation, saying the Rays "probably have the best five starters in baseball." ... Rays C Dioner Navarro didn't play due to a stiff neck. ... Toronto placed INF John McDonald on the bereavement list and purchased the contract of minor league OF Dewayne Wise. ... Tampa Bay SS Jason Bartlett, on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring, remains on track to return next week. ... It was the Rays' 1,000th regular-season home game. Tampa Bay is 490-510.

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

A. Gonzalez
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

B. Cecil
IP 6.2
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 2

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Toronto Blue Jays
Fred Lewis, LF5010033 .277
Aaron Hill, 2B5020002 .186
Adam Lind, DH4011012 .213
    Dewayne Wise, PR-DH0100000 .000
Vernon Wells, CF4010002 .297
Jose Bautista, RF3000100 .239
Alex Gonzalez, SS3112010 .263
Lyle Overbay, 1B3000122 .229
John Buck, C4130001 .262
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4000023 .202
2B - Vernon Wells (22, Wheeler)
HR - Alex Gonzalez (13, Davis)
SF - Alex Gonzalez (1)
RBI - Adam Lind (31), Alex Gonzalez 2 (35)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Lind (17), Alex Gonzalez (16)
Team LOB - 8
DP - A. Gonzalez-Hill-Overbay, A. Gonzalez-Hill-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Brett Cecil (W,7-2) 6.2311321 3.22
Casey Janssen (H,1) 0.1000000 4.26
Scott Downs (H,15) 0.1100000 3.76
Shawn Camp (H,8) 0.2000000 2.76
Kevin Gregg (S,15) 1211111 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Cecil 109-67, Casey Janssen 3-2, Scott Downs 10-7, Shawn Camp 3-2, Kevin Gregg 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Cecil 11-5, Shawn Camp 1-0, Kevin Gregg 1-1
Batters Faced - Brett Cecil 24, Casey Janssen 1, Scott Downs 2, Shawn Camp 1, Kevin Gregg 6
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF2010201 .243
Sean Rodriguez, 2B-SS4111002 .263
Evan Longoria, 3B3010101 .326
Willy Aybar, DH-2B4010003 .252
    Carl Crawford, PR0000000 .297
Ben Zobrist, RF-LF4000012 .309
Carlos Pena, 1B3111101 .186
Gabe Kapler, LF2000000 .220
   a- Hank Blalock, PH-RF2000012 .205
John Jaso, C3000000 .298
Reid Brignac, SS2000010 .287
   b- Kelly Shoppach, PH1010000 .250
a-popped out for Kapler in the 7th
b-singled for Brignac in the 8th
2B - Evan Longoria (21, Cecil)
HR - Sean Rodriguez (3, Gregg), Carlos Pena (13, Cecil)
RBI - Sean Rodriguez (20), Carlos Pena (41)
SB - B.J. Upton (19, 2nd base off Cecil/Buck), Carl Crawford (19, 2nd base off Gregg/Buck)
CS - B.J. Upton (5, 3rd base by Cecil/Buck)
Team LOB - 5
E - Evan Longoria (9, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
Wade Davis (L,5-6) 7733171 4.91
Randy Choate 0.1000000 5.51
Dan Wheeler 0.1100100 2.95
Joaquin Benoit 1.1100020 0.64
IBB - J. Bautista by Dan Wheeler
Pitches-Strikes - Wade Davis 105-75, Randy Choate 2-2, Dan Wheeler 8-2, Joaquin Benoit 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade Davis 3-11, Randy Choate 1-0, Joaquin Benoit 1-1
Batters Faced - Wade Davis 29, Randy Choate 1, Dan Wheeler 3, Joaquin Benoit 5
Game Information
Attendance - 13675
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Brian Runge