St. Petersburg, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Left-hander Mark Buehrle fanned 11 and came within one out of his 10th career shutout while Jose Bautista hit a pair of solo home runs as the Toronto Blue Jays blanked the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-0, Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
The 35-year-old allowed just four hits and one walk in 8 2/3 innings. He appeared headed for his 30th complete game until a Ben Zobrist line drive bounced off the glove of third baseman Brett Lawrie with two outs in the ninth.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons then opted to have right-hander Sergio Santos close things out. Santos walked Evan Longoria and was lifted for Brett Cecil, who struck out Matt Joyce to end the game.
Bautista, for his part, recorded his 22nd career multi-homer game and his first since June 29, 2013, at Boston. Bautista has three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs in nine at-bats this season.
Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis and Dioner Navarro also had a pair of hits as the Blue Jays improved to 2-1.
Matt Moore absorbed the loss after allowing two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four as the Rays slipped to 1-2.
Bautista gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the fourth with a home run to left field off Moore. Bautista went to work again in the seventh, this time with a deep homer to left off reliever Josh Lueke for a 3-0 lead.
Despite losing their first game of the season, the Blue Jays have an opportunity to win the four-game series in Tampa Bay.
Toronto hasn’t won a road series from the Rays since April 6-8, 2007, which is the longest streak in baseball since Tampa Bay went winless in 25 series against Boston from 2000-08.