- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

TORONTO (AP) - Coming off a dispiriting sweep, R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays are hoping they can turn their fortunes around against the American League’s worst team.

Kevin Kiermaier hit a two-run blast, Logan Morrison and Desmond Jennings each had solo shots and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Dickey and Toronto 6-3 on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.

Edwin Encarnacion, Jimmy Paredes and Michael Saunders hit solo homers but Toronto lost its season-high fifth straight and dropped four games below .500 for the first time in 2016.

Next up for the Blue Jays: a four-game series in Minnesota against the struggling Twins.

“Obviously we’re in a bit of a rut,” Dickey said. “We don’t have the time to sit around and pout about it. We’re going into Minnesota and we’ve got to claim some games here and I think that we will.”

Toronto went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

“When you don’t cash in when you get some men on base, it’s tough,” said bench coach DeMarlo Hale, filling in for suspended manager John Gibbons. “We’re looking for things to change.”

All three Tampa Bay homers came off Dickey, who allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings.

“We ran into a team that has a lot of momentum,” Dickey said.

Dickey (2-5) has surrendered 94 home runs since the start of 2013, more than any other big league pitcher over that span.

Tampa Bay has hit a major league-leading 58 home runs, one more than Baltimore and two more than the New York Mets.

“It’s a little different for us,” Kiermaier said of Tampa Bay’s power numbers so far. “I don’t think that’s ever been the story for the Rays. We have guys who have a lot of power.”

Morrison had three hits and scored twice for the Rays, who outscored the Blue Jays 31-7 over the series.

Tampa Bay set multiple team marks in the sweep. The 44 hits were a record for a three-game series, as were the 81 total bases and 20 extra-base hits.

Jake Odorizzi (1-2) allowed two runs and two hits in five innings to win for the first time in nine starts this season.

Tampa Bay’s Tim Beckham scored from second base on a wild pitch by Gavin Floyd in the ninth. Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole couldn’t find the ball, allowing Beckham to score standing up.

HOME SICK

The Blue Jays have lost five straight home games for the first time since September of 2013.

FOUR PLAY

Toronto is 0-19 when the opposition scores four or more runs.

HARD HIT FOR FOSTER

Home plate umpire Marty Foster needed attention from both trainers between innings after being hit in the mask by Troy Tulowitzki’s foul tip in the bottom of the sixth. Foster stated in the game, but left the field briefly in the middle of the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: LHP Brett Cecil is expected to miss at least a month after an MRI revealed a torn lat muscle. Cecil was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday with a sore triceps muscle. … 2B Devon Travis (left shoulder surgery) is set to join Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday as he begins the next stage of his rehab assignment. Travis hit .357 with no homers and five RBIs in four games at Class A Dunedin. … 3B Josh Donaldson got the night off.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (1-2, 2.89), who starts Thursday at Minnesota, is seeking his first victory in seven starts. RHP Ervin Santana (1-2, 3.38) starts for the Twins.

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