DUNEDIN (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays got five innings of work from Jake Faria, but it took a pair of heads-up base running plays and a two-run homer from C.J. Cron to rally to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 at Dunedin Stadium Thursday.
Faria allowed a pair of home runs, a two-run blast by Teoscar Hernanadez and a solo shot by Danny Espinosa, but just two other hits total in his second to last outing. He also walked three and struck out four.
Tampa Bay's first run came on a third inning strikeout by Cron, who reached on a wild pitch by Jaime Garcia and allowed Kean Wong, who had singled and moved to second on a groundout, to come around and score safely.
After Hernandez's home run gave the Blue Jays the lead in the fourth. Mallex Smith reached on a two-out bunt single in the top of the fifth, stole second base and scored on a infield hit by Daniel Robertson, one of two hits the second baseman had while celebrating his 24th birthday.
Espinosa made it 3-2 in the home half of the inning with his second home run of the spring.
Joey Wendle's RBI triple in the top of the sixth brought the team back even, and Cron's two-run blast in the seventh off Danny Barnes set the scoring.
Andrew Kittredge, Chaz Roe and Cody Hall combined to throw four innings of one-hit shutout relief, striking out seven and not issuing a walk.
The Rays will have a split-squad day Friday against the Blue Jays at home and the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota. Both games start at 1:05.
Split-squad vs. Toronto Blue Jays, Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, 1:05 pm.
Rays pitchers: RHP Matt Andriese, LHP Dan Jennings, RHP Alex Colome, RHP Daniel Hudson
Blue Jays pitchers: LHP J.A. Happ, RHP Ryan Tepera, RHP Danny Barnes
Split-squad at Baltimore Orioles, Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, 1:05
Rays pitchers: RHP Ryan Weber, RHP Colton Murray, RHP R.J. Alaniz, LHP Kyle Bird, RHP Cody Hall, RHP Joe Serrapica
Orioles pitchers: TBA
Saturday - at Pittsburgh Pirates, LECOM Park, Bradenton, 1:05 pm.
Sunday - vs New York Yankees, Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, 1:05 pm.
Monday - at Detroit Tigers, Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, 1:05 pm.
Tuesday - vs Detroit Tigers, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, 12:35 pm.