TORONTO -- Right-hander Chris Archer tossed six strong innings and the Rays' offense erupted for the second consecutive game with another lopsided 12-2 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Tuesday.
Archer scattered four hits and four walks while striking out six to pick up his third victory of the season. It was his first win in three tries against Toronto this season, and the solid outing dropped his ERA on the season to 4.38.
"Being able to pitch five scoreless innings after the way it started is something I can hang my hat on," Archer said. "Always room for improvement. But team victory, went six innings, gave up less than the other team, so I'm happy about it."
The Rays' lineup made it an easy night on the mound for their No. 1 starter. Curt Casali was the only member of the starting nine not to register a hit while Brad Miller was the only Ray without a run. The club finished with seven extra-base hits and has now scored 25 runs over its last two games.
Right-hander Marcus Stroman took the loss for Toronto in his worst start of the season. Stroman surrendered a career-high seven earned runs on 13 hits and gave up a lot of hard contact during almost every inning he was on the mound. It was his first loss since Sept. 15, 2014, at Baltimore.
"We're fine," Stroman said when asked about the team's recent struggles. "We're a confident group. The clubhouse hasn't changed one bit since the very beginning, so we're fine. We know what we're capable of and hopefully we get things rolling here."
Jose Bautista provided one of the only bright spots for Toronto with a two-run shot in the first inning. Michael Saunders walked twice and has now reached base at least once in 16 of his last 17 games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
First Major League home run:Taylor Motter was sent in to pinch-hit with two outs in the ninth. After falling behind 0-1, the Rays' rookie -- playing in just his second game -- came through with a two-run homer, the first of his Major League career. Motter pinch-hit for Miller, who was a home run short of the cycle in the game.
"I told him actually before I went to hit, 'I'd love to see you go for the cycle here,'" Motter said. "He goes, 'Man, just finish it up for me.' And I went on deck and it actually happened, which is pretty cool."
Lo-Mo gets on the board: To date, Logan Morrison has had a season to forget. He got off to a slow start, prompting fans to criticize the Rays for going with Morrison and letting James Loney go. Tuesday night it might not have been pretty, but Morrison drove in his first run of the season with a fielder's choice in the third. He celebrated his RBI by driving home another with a fifth-inning single. More >
Bautista's blast: There wasn't much to celebrate on the Blue Jays' side Tuesday night but Bautista did provide an early spark with a two-run shot to center field. According to Statcast™, Bautista's seventh of the year was projected to travel 401 feet and left his bat at 105 mph. It was Bautista's second home run of the month and his first since May 6 against the Dodgers. Bautista has now homered three times in his career against Archer.
"It has been a tough two days," Bautista said. "Pretty ugly, so it might augment the situation a little bit more than it should because it hasn't been pretty. But it's just two days. You have to continue moving forward with that mentality. Try to flush it out of our system, get a win tomorrow, go out on the road and have a good road trip."
"The home runs are great, but you can almost score more runs when you're kind of passing it on to the next guy." -- Rays manager Kevin Cash, on his club scoring 10 of their 12 runs without a home run, which ran counter to their tendency.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Toronto starters have surrendered seven-plus runs in back-to-back games for the first time since June 11-12, 2011, which also marks the last time the Blue Jays surrendered 17-plus hits in consecutive games.
The Rays have scored 31 runs in their last three games. Entering Tuesday night's contest, they had scored 57.4 percent of their runs via the home run, yet they hit only one home run in their 12-2 win. The most encouraging sign for the offense came in the fact they went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Jake Odorizzi (0-2, 3.83) will be hunting his first win of the season when he starts Wednesday's finale against the Blue Jays at 7:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre. The right-hander is less miffed about being winless than not pitching deeper into the games more regularly. This will be the third time he's faced the Blue Jays this season. In those two games he has struck out 16 and held the Jays to a .140 batting average in 12 2/3 innings.
Blue Jays: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (2-4, 4.31) will take the mound when the Blue Jays close out their three-game series against the Rays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre. Dickey is coming off his best outing of the season in which he didn't allow a run while striking out six over eight innings.