IAN HARRISON, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Drew Smyly pitched a two-hitter and retired the final 19 batters for the first complete game of his career, leading the Tampa Bay Rays over the struggling Toronto Blue Jays 8-0 on Friday night.
Evan Longoria homered, doubled, singled and drove in three runs, and Wil Myers also homered as the Rays began a stretch of 26 straight games against AL East opponents with a comfortable win.
Smyly (8-10) allowed a leadoff single to Jose Reyes, who was promptly erased on a double play. After Steve Tolleson’s two-out single in the third, Smyly didn’t permit another runner. He walked none and struck out four.
Smyly is 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts since joining the Rays in the July 31 trade that sent David Price to Detroit.
Marcus Stroman (7-5) was hit hard as the Blue Jays fell to an AL-worst 5-13 in August.
Kevin Kiermaier added three hits for the Rays, who chased Stroman while taking a 7-0 lead in the sixth.
Pitching on six days’ rest after giving up five runs while getting just two outs against the Chicago White Sox last Friday, Stroman was tagged for a career-worst 10 hits. The rookie, winless in four starts, walked three and struck out six.
Longoria opened the scoring with a first-pitch homer to begin the second, Kiermaier made it 2-0 with a two-out double in the fourth and Matt Joyce scored on a throwing error by second baseman Tolleson in the fifth.
The Rays broke it open in sixth, finishing Stroman after an RBI single by Desmond Jennings, the third straight hit to begin the inning. Aaron Loup came on and gave up an RBI single to Ben Zobrist. Joyce reached on a fielder’s choice and Longoria followed with a two-run double.
Rays: C Curt Casali made his fourth straight start as Jose Molina continues to be bothered by a sore left knee. Manager Joe Maddon said Molina will return to the starting lineup Saturday.
Blue Jays: 3B Brett Lawrie (left oblique) is rehabbing his injury in Arizona, but there is no timetable for his return, manager John Gibbons said. “I have no idea, nobody knows,” Gibbons said.
Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-2) faces Blue Jays LHP Mark Buehrle (11-8) on Saturday. Hellickson is 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 12 career starts against Toronto, six of which came in 2013. Buehrle has won just once in his past 13 outings, going 1-7 in that span after a 10-1 start to the season.
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