Donaldson powers Blue Jays to win over Rays

Donaldson powers Blue Jays to win over Rays

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak both homered while right-hander Drew Hutchison tossed six strong innings in the Blue Jays' 6-2 victory over the Rays on Friday night at Rogers Centre.

The home runs by Donaldson and Smoak came during a five-run fifth inning that ultimately chased Rays starter Jake Odorizzi from the game. Odorizzi battled some control problems on the mound and was charged with six runs on six hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings in his second start since returning from the disabled list.

"We had some tough at-bats there, guys taking walks, some key hits and we were able to get it going," said Smoak, who finished 2-for-4 with a double in addition to the three-run homer.

Travis climbs the ladder

Hutchison scattered five hits and two walks while allowing two runs en route to his ninth victory of the season. Tampa Bay's Grady Sizemore hit a solo shot while Evan Longoria doubled and later scored on Logan Forsythe's single in the losing effort.

"Grady, big hit, but we didn't have much else going on," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Didn't seem like we were timed up very well. I thought Hutchison, early on, threw a lot more changeups than we had seen the outing before against him. ... Made some big pitches when he needed to. We put some pressure on him, but not enough."

Sizemore's solo shot


Bringer of Rain: Donaldson's homers weren't limited to Monday's Derby as he went deep with a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth inning. According to Statcast™, his 22nd of the year was projected to land 397 feet from home plate and it left his bat at 104 mph. The timing was crucial as it gave Toronto a 3-1 lead and sparked a five-run rally that eventually chased Odorizzi from the game. Twenty of Donaldson's homers have come while playing third base, which is the most by a Toronto third baseman since Edwin Encarnacion had 20 in 2010.

"I got a good pitch to hit, but I hadn't had a lot of success off him, so it was nice to finally hit one pretty solid," said Donaldson. More >

Donaldson's two-run blast

Rough outing for Odorizzi: Odorizzi's second start back from the disabled list did not look as promising as the first as he allowed six runs on six hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings. The six runs represented the most runs he's surrendered in any of his 14 starts. In addition, the five-run fifth was the most runs he's given up in an inning this season and the five walks were the most for any game this year. More >

Odorizzi works out of a jam

Hutch at home: Hutchison got Jake Elmore to pop out to end the sixth inning as he put the finishing touches on his fifth quality start of the season. All but one of those outings occurred at home where Hutchison has a 2.21 ERA. Those impressive numbers are a stark contrast to his consistent struggles on the road where he has an 8.81 ERA in 10 starts. Hutchison's run support hardly comes as a surprise with the Blue Jays scoring 129 runs in his 19 starts this year, which is the most in baseball.

"It was the opposite last year, we talked about this, we can beat it dead as much as we want," Hutchison said of his home-and-away splits. "I would prefer to keep pitching well here and then pitch better on the road."

Hutchison gets a double play

Smoak Show: Donaldson's home run put the Blue Jays in front, but it was a three-run shot by Smoak that put the game out of reach. His homer was projected by Statcast™ to land 370 feet away from home plate and it left his bat at 101 mph. That was the final batter Odorizzi would face and it marked the 19th time this season that the Blue Jays scored at least five runs in an inning. For Smoak, it was home run No. 9 despite the fact that he has been limited to 133 at-bats this season.

"Whenever they call on me, I do whatever I can to help the team win," said Smoak, who had seven home runs in 248 at-bats last year in Seattle. "That's kind of been my mindset all year and that's my goal."

Smoak's three-run blast


"I think I threw the changeup more and threw quality changeups instead of just throwing one and it not being quality. I think it just comes down to executing pitches -- as boring as that sounds it's really what it is. Executing quality pitches for balls and strikes." -- Hutchison, on his outing

"There is no break, there is no break. Their nine-hole hitter, [Devon Travis], is as difficult to pitch to as any of them. … You know that coming in, though." -- Cash, on the Blue Jays' potent lineup


The Blue Jays were the first team since 1933 that had a sub-.500 record prior to the All-Star Break while leading the Major Leagues in runs by at least 77 over the second-best club. The previous highest margin for a sub-.500 team at the break was 26 runs by the 1970 Giants (41-44).

John Jaso has hit safely in eight of nine games since being activated off the disabled list, batting .385 (10-for-26) in that span.


Rays: Erasmo Ramirez (8-3, 3.63) will make his 14th start of the season and he is on a roll. He has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last eight starts (since May 30), the third longest streak in team history. Since moving into the starting rotation for good on May 14, he has made 11 starts and gone 8-2.

Blue Jays: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3-10, 4.87 ERA) will take the mound when the Blue Jays continue their three-game series against the Rays on Saturday afternoon at 1:07 p.m. ET. Dickey has allowed three earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts and has a 3.73 ERA over that same span of games.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and listen to his podcast. Bill Chastain is a reporter for Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.