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Blue Jays Bats Awaken To Take Opener From Rays

ST. PETGERBURG (620 WDAE) -- Kendrys Morales hit a pair of home runs and drove in five, as the Toronto Blue Jay rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 Friday at Tropicana Field.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Daniel Robertson and Derek Norris hit back-to-back solo homers off Blue Jays starter Francisco Liriano.  Robertson's blast was his third of the year, Norris' was his second.  Tim Beckham followed with a base hit, Kevin Kiermaier was hit by a Liriano pitch on the wrist, and Evan Longoria drew a walk to load the bases in front of Steven Souza Jr., who also walked to make it a 3-0 lead.

Chris Archer, who cruised through the first four frames, could not get a shutdown frame in the fifth, as Morales doubled to start the inning and scored on a base hit by Justin Smoak, cutting the lead back to 3-1.

Archer's night ended two batters into the seventh, as he walked Russell Martin to start the ining, then gave up a two-run blast to Morales that tied the game.

Chase Whitley retired the next three batters in the seventh, but saw his consecutive batters retired streak end at 20 as Devon Travis doubled to start the eighth.  Chris Coghlan flied to right, allowing Travis to take third, and Kevin Pillar's double off Jumbo Diaz past a drawn-in Longoria at third tied the game up.  Jose Bautista struck out for the fourth time, but Diaz walked Martin and Morales blasted his second homer in as many innings for a 7-4 lead.

Manager Kevin Cash brought in Justin Marks, just called up from Durham, and his first pic to Smoak was sent into the seats in left-center for his fifth home run of the year, setting the score.

Tampa Bay will look to even the series Saturday afternoon, as Jake Odorizzi (1-1, 3.50 ERA) takes on Marco Estrada (1-1, 2.43 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 4:10, with coverage on WDAE with The Inside Pitch, presented by Sykes Lakeland.


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