Rookie Jake Odorizzi pitched into the seventh inning and Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist delivered key hits during a six-run outburst that helped the Tampa Bay Rays to a 10-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
Pitching a day earlier than scheduled because All-Star David Price was ill, Odorizzi (5-8) allowed three runs and six hits over 6 2-3 innings. The 24-year-old right-hander walked two and struck out seven to improve to 3-1 over his last five starts.
Kiermaier and Joyce had three RBIs apiece and Zobrist finished with two.
The 1-2-3 hitters in the Rays lineup also combined to drive in five runs during a six-run sixth inning. Pinch hitter Cole Figueroa drove in the first run of the inning, drawing a bases-loaded walk from Drew Hutchison (6-8) to snap a 2-2 tie.
The loss was the seventh in nine games for the second-place Blue Jays, who remained three games behind division-leading Baltimore in the AL East.
Despite its recent struggles, Toronto’s 49 wins are the most the Blue Jays have had before the All-Star break since 2006. A win Sunday would give them their first road series victory over Tampa Bay since April 2007, as well as 50 wins before the break for the first time since 1992.
The Rays, meanwhile, stopped a four-game losing streak against their division rivals, winning for just the third time in nine tries against Toronto this season.
Hutchison beat Tampa Bay 4-2 on April 1 at Tropicana Field and 10-5 in Toronto on May 26, despite not pitching six innings in either outing. He didn’t make it through the middle innings against them this time, either, running into trouble when the Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth on a single and two walks.
The Blue Jays starter fanned Jose Molina, but watched the go-ahead run cross the plate when Figueroa walked after fouling off three pitches on a full count.
J.A. Happ replaced Hutchison, but couldn’t shut down the rally. Kiermaier, Zobrist and Joyce hit consecutive ground ball singles through the left side of the Toronto infield, building Odorizzi’s lead to 8-2.
Hutchison was charged with six runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked five and struck out seven.
Colby Rasmus tripled and scored on Juan Francisco’s second-inning sacrifice fly for Toronto. Dioner Navarro had an RBI single in the fourth and Anthony Gose added a run-scoring single in the seventh for the Blue Jays.