Rays score six runs in second inning in romp of Jays
Toronto, Canada (4E Sports) – New acquisition Ben Francisco whacked a solo homer to spark a telling six-run second inning that powered the Tampa Bay Rays past the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-4, at Rogers Centre.
In his first start as right fielder after being traded by the Houston Astros Friday, Francisco delivered a solo shot against Ricky Romero (8-13) to start the fiery run in the second inning.
David Price pitched 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball to earn his 17th win and help the Rays salvage a four-game split with the Jays and finish a seven-game road trip to Texas and Toronto with a 3-4 mark.
Price (17-5) walked four and struck out five while lowering his ERA to 2.54 — the second best mark in the American League.
Romero suffered his 12th consecutive loss after he was tagged for seven runs and failed to make it out of the second inning, the shortest outing of his four-year career. He failed to record a single out in the second for the first time in his career. He just faced seven batters, allowing seven runs on eight hits while walking one.
He started the season 8-1 but went 0-12 in his last 13 starts, failing to record a win since a June 22 outing in Miami. His ERA is 7.98 over that stretch and a Major League worst 5.85 on the season among qualified starters.
Romero’s troubles started when Evan Longoria hammered an RBI double in the first to put the Rays ahead before Francisco sparked their outburst with a solo shot in the ensuing inning.
Ben Zobrist hit a two-run single while Desmond Jennings, Jose Molina and Jeff Keppinger had an RBI apiece to give the Rays a 7-0 lead.
The six runs scored by the Rays in the second represented their biggest single-inning outburst since they scored seven in the fifth inning against the Angels in Anaheim Aug. 18.
Carlos Pena put the Rays ahead by 8-0 after leading off the third with his 17th homer against Romero’s replacement Chad Jenkins before Francisco added a ground rule double that plated Evan Longoria in the fourth inning.