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Tampa Bay at Toronto

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Tampa Bay (22-14) «000060001770
Toronto (19-17)010000000142

Bullpen carries Rays over Blue Jays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- The Tampa Bay Rays celebrated a win and suffered lost another player on Monday night.

Cesar Ramos got his first career victory after replacing the injured Jeff Niemann, and Ben Zobrist homered as the Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1.

The celebration was muted by news that Niemann is expected to miss four to six weeks after fracturing his right leg, forcing the Rays to find another replacement for an already injury-filled lineup.

"It's tough, a lot of adversity right now," Zobrist said. "We're just trying to keep nine bodies on the field."

Before the game, the Rays put outfielder Desmond Jennings (left knee) on the 15-day disabled list. Once Niemann joins him, the Rays will have eight players sidelined with injuries, a list that also includes slugging third baseman Evan Longoria (torn left hamstring), closer Kyle Farnsworth (right elbow), catcher Robinson Chirinos (concussion) and outfielder Sam Fuld (right wrist).

"We've been bitten a little bit to this point," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We're constantly having our depth tested."

Luke Scott and Sean Rodriguez each had two RBIs for the Rays, who have won two straight after losing six of their previous seven.

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Maddon said the Rays will call up a reliever Tuesday to help out until Niemann's spot in the rotation comes up again, adding that he'd prefer not to move Wade Davis back to the rotation.

Tampa Bay was forced to go to its bullpen early Monday, with Niemann knocked out after just one inning. He was injured when he was struck on the lower leg by Adam Lind's grounder in the first. The right-hander recovered to make the out, but walked gingerly around the mound and was checked by the trainer before finishing the inning.

"It's a tough break, literally," Maddon said. "The ball was not hit that sharply so I thought it just be like a stinger and he'd be able to walk it off."

Niemann warmed up for the second but was unable to continue, with the left-handed Ramos brought on to replace him after a mound conference involving Maddon and the trainer.

"[Niemann] just did not have a good look about him at all," Maddon said.

Ramos (1-0) allowed one run and two hits in three innings, walked three and struck out three, to win for the first time in 80 career appearances.

"I saw them gathering the cans of beer in order to celebrate it properly," Maddon said.

Davis pitched two innings, J.P Howell and Burke Badenhop each worked one inning and Jake McGee finished in the ninth.

Tampa Bay broke it open with a six-run fifth, taking advantage of an error by Lind to score five unearned runs off Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow (4-2), who came in having won his past four starts and didn't allow a hit through the first four innings.

Will Rhymes led off with a double, took third on a fly out by Chris Gimenez and scored on Elliot Johnson's single. Zobrist grounded into a fielder's choice and B.J. Upton walked before Matt Joyce reached when a diving Lind couldn't handle Joyce's hard grounder, allowing Zobrist to score from second. Carlos Pena reached on a dropped third strike, loading the bases for Scott, who lined a two-run single to left. Rodriguez capped it with a two-run double to right-center.

"On a night when you're down a little bit offensively, that's where the pitching and defense has got to pick some things up," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "That wasn't the case tonight."

Lind's error in the fifth was his second of the night: he also dropped Upton's foul pop up in the first.

Toronto's struggling first baseman, who came in batting .189, was bumped back to the cleanup spot after being dropped to eighth last week because he came in 13 for 28 with three homers in his career against Niemann.

Zobrist led off the ninth with a first-pitch homer to right, his sixth.

Kelly Johnson drove in Toronto's only run with a two-out single off Ramos in the second.

Notes

  • Toronto has lost six of nine following a season-long four-game winning streak.
  • The Rays recalled C/OF Stephen Vogt from Triple-A Durham to replace Jennings, whose DL stint is retroactive to May 12. "[Jennings] is not getting worse, he's just not getting better," Maddon said.
  • Toronto optioned RH Joel Carreno to Double-A New Hampshire and recalled LH Evan Crawford from Triple-A Las Vegas.
  • Blue Jays RH Sergio Santos (right shoulder) is throwing from 90 feet on flat ground at the team's Florida facility. Santos, out since April 21, will progress to 150 feet before he resumes throwing off the mound.
  • The Rays signed 1B Ryan Garko to a minor league contract. Garko, who had been playing in the independent Atlantic League, will report to Double-A Montgomery. He last played in the majors with Texas in 2010.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Cesar Ramos pitches three innings out of the Rays' bullpen to collect his first career major-league victory.  (Getty Images)
Cesar Ramos pitches three innings out of the Rays' bullpen to collect his first career major-league victory. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

S. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

L. Scott
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ben Zobrist, RF4211123 .218
B.J. Upton, CF3110221 .260
Matt Joyce, LF5100024 .274
Carlos Pena, 1B4100133 .225
Luke Scott, DH5112034 .236
Sean Rodriguez, 3B4022010 .238
Will Rhymes, 2B3110001 .250
Chris Gimenez, C4000002 .220
Elliot Johnson, SS2011211 .273
Totals34776614  
Batting
2B - Sean Rodriguez (3, Morrow), Will Rhymes (2, Morrow)
HR - Ben Zobrist (6, Villanueva)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (16), Luke Scott 2 (26), Sean Rodriguez 2 (11), Elliot Johnson (6)
2-OUT RBI - Luke Scott 2 (14), Sean Rodriguez 2 (5)
SB - B.J. Upton (5, 2nd base off Crawford/Arencibia), Elliot Johnson (6, 2nd base off Morrow/Arencibia)
CS - Elliot Johnson (1, 2nd base by Perez/Arencibia)
Team LOB - 7
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeff Niemann 1100100 3.38
Cesar Ramos (W,1-0) 3211330 2.25
Wade Davis 2000110 2.04
J.P. Howell 1000010 2.08
Burke Badenhop 1000010 4.50
Jake McGee 1100130 2.31
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Niemann 23-12, Cesar Ramos 57-33, Wade Davis 31-19, J.P. Howell 13-9, Burke Badenhop 11-7, Jake McGee 24-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Niemann 2-1, Cesar Ramos 5-1, Wade Davis 1-4, J.P. Howell 1-1, Burke Badenhop 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Niemann 5, Cesar Ramos 14, Wade Davis 7, J.P. Howell 3, Burke Badenhop 3, Jake McGee 5
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kelly Johnson, 2B5021012 .259
Yunel Escobar, SS4000013 .248
    Omar Vizquel, SS0000000 .125
Jose Bautista, RF3000110 .194
Adam Lind, 1B3000100 .184
Edwin Encarnacion, DH3000103 .270
Eric Thames, LF3010110 .259
Brett Lawrie, 3B4010022 .288
Colby Rasmus, CF2100100 .221
   a- Ben Francisco, PH1000012 .238
J.P. Arencibia, C3000122 .222
Totals3114169  
a-struck out for Rasmus in the 9th
Batting
RBI - Kelly Johnson (19)
2-OUT RBI - Kelly Johnson (9)
SB - Kelly Johnson (4, 2nd base off Niemann/Gimenez)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Lawrie-Johnson-Lind
E - Adam Lind 2 (5, Dropped fly)
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brandon Morrow (L,4-2) 5466470 2.22
Luis Perez 1000110 2.45
Evan Crawford 1100030 3.60
Francisco Cordero 1100010 8.10
Carlos Villanueva 1111121 5.79
HBP - Rhymes (by Francisco Cordero)
WP - Brandon Morrow (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 90-56, Luis Perez 17-7, Evan Crawford 17-14, Francisco Cordero 12-9, Carlos Villanueva 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 5-5, Luis Perez 1-0, Francisco Cordero 1-0, Carlos Villanueva 1-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 25, Luis Perez 3, Evan Crawford 4, Francisco Cordero 4, Carlos Villanueva 5
Game Information
Attendance - 15289
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Dale Scott