ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - James Loney and Drew Smyly departed Tampa Bay’s crowded disabled list and helped the Rays to a runaway win.
Loney, Rene Rivera and Tim Beckham each hit a two-run homer, and the Tampa Bay beat the Toronto Blue Jays 12-3 on Friday night.
Smyly came within one out of winning his first start of the season. The left-hander gave up two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings.
“That’s baseball,” said Smyly, who was hampered by tendinitis in spring training. “I had a pre-determined pitch count and it stinks that it landed with one out to go in the fifth.”
Smyly’s pitch count was 75. He finished with 79.
“Extremely unfortunate that his pitch count kind of got to the difficult decision-making zone, and that’s on me that we had to prioritize his health over his record at this point,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I apologize to him, but that’s the plan we had in place and we wanted to stick to it.”
Jose Dominguez (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for his first major league win, and Matt Andriese pitched the final three innings for his first career save. The Rays optioned Dominguez to Triple-A Durham after the game.
The home runs by Loney and Rivera came in a four-run fourth inning off R.A. Dickey (0-2).
Returning from the DL after missing 15 games with a strained right oblique, Loney went deep for the first time since Sept. 9. He went 2 for 5 with a double and scored twice.
“It’s fun being back out there again,” he said after his first career stint on the disabled list. “I’m just glad it’s over.”
Rivera’s homer was his first for the Rays.
Dickey allowed eight runs, seven earned, and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. The knuckleballer walked one while throwing 86 pitches.
“I threw some really bad ones tonight that they hit,” he said. “Sometimes those get popped up or not swung at. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes you stink. Tonight it stunk.”
Beckham hit his third homer of the season off Jeff Francis in the seventh.
Evan Longoria drove in his first run in 12 games with a sacrifice fly in Tampa Bay’s five-run fifth. Kevin Kiermaier completed that outburst with a fly ball that went off the glove of left fielder Steve Tolleson for a four-base error.
Devon Travis’ fifth home run was the first of four straight Toronto hits off Smyly in the fourth, giving the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead. They did not score again until Justin Smoak’s home run in the ninth.
Blue Jays: OF Jose Bautista missed a third straight game with a sore shoulder. Manager John Gibbons said Bautista will not go on the disabled list and is likely to DH a game or two before turning to the outfield.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb said he felt great after throwing 22 fastballs in his first bullpen session since being sidelined during spring training by forearm tendinitis. … Closer Jake McGee (back stiffness) is scheduled to throw off a mound Saturday.
Blue Jays: OF Michael Saunders, who has yet to play after injuring his knee in spring training, was activated from the 15-day disabled list after the game. Tolleson was designated for assignment.
Rays: RF Steven Souza Jr. will be back in the starting lineup Saturday night after being rested Friday, which was his 26th birthday.
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