April 12th, 2024

Turner homers and drives in 4 runs as Blue Jays gained split of 4-game series by beating Rays 9-2


By Mark Didtler, The Associated Press on March 31, 2024.

Toronto Blue Jays' Justin Turner, right, celebrates with third base coach Carlos Febles after a solo home run off Tampa Bay Rays' Tyler Alexander during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, March 31, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Justin Turner homered and drove in four runs as the Toronto Blue Jays gained a spit of a four-game series by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 on Sunday,

After winning the opener 8-1 on Thursday, the Blue Jays were outscored 13-3 in losing the next two games. Toronto is 20-35 in road games against Tampa Bay since the start of the 2018 season.

Randy Arozarena homered for the Rays. He also went deep in Saturday’s 5-1 win.

Toronto ace Kevin Gausman, on a pitch count after not making his spring training debut until March 25 because of shoulder fatigue, allowed one run, two hits and struck out six in 4 â…“ innings. The right-hander threw 48 of 69 pitches for strikes.

Nate Pearson finished the fifth and Mitch White (1-0) followed with three hitless innings. Chad Green allowed Isaac Paredes’ homer in the ninth, then complete a three-hitter before a crowd of just 14,875.

Toronto took a 4-1 lead on Turner’s two-run double off Tyler Alexander in the second. Turner had an RBI single during a two-run first against opener Shawn Armstrong (0-1).

Turner added a solo shot and Davis Schneider had a two-run drive to make it 7-1 in the fifth.

Alexander, who didn’t pitch after July 2 last season due to a left lat strain, gave up five runs and six hits over five innings.

Cavan Biggio hit an RBI single in a two-run seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette was a late scratch with neck spasms.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP Bowden Francis (0-0) will face Houston RHP Ronel Blanco (0-0) Monday night as the Blue Jays continue a season-opening 10-game trip.

Rays: RHP Ryan Pepiot (0-0), acquired in a trade that sent Tampa Bay ace Tyler Glasnow to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December, makes his Rays’ debut Monday night against Texas RHP Dane Dunning (0-0). The Rangers outscored Tampa Bay 11-1 in sweeping a two-game Wild Card Series en route to the 2023 title.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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