Rays unleash late blasts to sting Blue Jays

Rays unleash late blasts to sting Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Brandon Guyer and Curt Casali each homered as the Rays took advantage of the Blue Jays' maligned bullpen in a 3-2 series-evening victory on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

"Good win, Rays win," manager Kevin Cash said. "Close, tight ballgame all the way down to the wire. A lot of good things. Some huge at-bats from Brandon Guyer and Curt Casali."

Tampa Bay designated hitter John Jaso had a two-hit afternoon, which included an RBI double in the third inning off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez pitched well, but he received a no-decision after allowing one run over 4 2/3 innings.

Dickey strong in no-decision

Dickey had another strong outing by allowing one run over six innings and he left with a 2-1 lead, but his bullpen wasn't able to close things out. Lefty Aaron Loup and right-hander Ryan Tepera each surrendered solo homers as the Rays stole one late as they attempt to avoid losing back-to-back series in the same season to Toronto for the first time since 2007.

Jose Bautista hit a solo homer in a losing cause for the Blue Jays while rookie Devon Travis added an RBI double and shortstop Jose Reyes went 2-for-4.

Travis' RBI double

Unlikely homers: Brandon Guyer and Curt Casali entered Saturday with four home runs between them. That didn't stop the pair from coming through with the game-tying and go-ahead homers. Guyer's came off Loup in the seventh, tying the score at 2. Casali then hit his second homer of the year in the eighth off Tepera. More >

Guyer's solo homer

Bullpen woes: Toronto's bullpen had a lot of issues closing out games in the first half as the club was charged with 13 blown saves and that trend continued after the All-Star break. The quick-strike offensive approach by the Rays brought the total number of home runs allowed by the 'pen this season to 31, which is tied for for the fifth most in the Major Leagues. More >

Gibbons talks loss to Rays

"Ideally, you'd like to have roles, this and that, we've been juggling a little bit, who's doing what," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of his struggling 'pen. "But it's tough, tough when you play a good tight ballgame, two teams battling it out, it's a tough way to lose it."

Bautista blast: Bautista temporarily put the Blue Jays in front during the sixth inning with a solo homer into the third deck at Rogers Centre. According to Statcast™, Bautista's 18th of the year was projected to travel 451 feet and left his bat at 108 mph. It was Bautista's third home run of the month and first since July 5.

Jaso continues to hit: The Rays reinstated Jaso from the 60-day disabled list on July 7. All he's done since is hit. On Saturday, his ground-rule double drove home the first run of the game. He also singled with Tim Beckham on second, but Beckham was thrown out at home on the play.

Jaso's RBI ground-rule double

Jaso has now hit safely in eight of his nine games (with a plate appearance) since his return.

Beckham tried to score from second base on Jaso's two-out single in the fifth, but was called out at the plate, despite trying a swim move when sliding. After 55 seconds, the play on the field was confirmed.

Rays win challenge

Beckham was involved in another replay review in the third after drawing a walk against Dickey, who fired to first base for an apparent pickoff. But the out call was overturned and Beckham later scored after a balk on Jaso's RBI double.

The Blue Jays have been outscored, 51-42, by the Rays this season. The only other team in the Majors which has outscored Toronto this year is the Tigers (21-19).

Ramirez has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts (since May 30). This ties him with Drew Smyly for the second longest streak in franchise history. Alex Cobb holds the record with 12.

Rays: All-Star Chris Archer (9-6, 2.74) will make his first start of the second half after ending the first half with the worst start of his career when he allowed nine earned runs in six innings against the Royals on July 8. He has made four consecutive starts against the Blue Jays of seven-plus innings pitched in which he allowed three hits or fewer and one earned run or fewer.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada gets the ball for Sunday's finale at Rogers Centre at 1:07 p.m. ET. He is 5-2 with a 3.21 ERA since June 2. Estrada has made one start against the Rays in 2015, pitching a season-high 8 2/3 innings in a no-decision on June 24. That night, he carried a perfect game into the eighth inning.

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