The Rays headed north of the border to face the Blue Jays to start the second half of the season. Tampa Bay came into the break after completing a 9-1 home-stand and looked to keep that momentum up in the first game back from the All-Star break. David Price took the ball for the Rays and he struggled early but was able to settle down after a rough first couple innings. Tampa Bay's offense got them back in the game with the long ball to help them win the first game of this three game series, 8-5.
Toronto got on the board early in the first inning and with two outs Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo homerun to left field giving the Jays an early 1-0 lead. However it did not take long for the Rays to answer as All-Star Ben Zobrist hit Tampa's first homerun of the night tying the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning. The Blue Jays were able to grab the lead again in the bottom of the inning on a pair of homeruns. The first blast was a solo one by J.P. Arencibia followed by a two-run bomb from Jose Bautista giving the Jays a 4-1 lead after three innings.
Will Myers cut into the Jays lead in the next half inning with a solo homerun of his own making it a 4-2 game. In the sixth inning the Rays would claw back with two more homeruns, both solo shots. First it was Evan Longoria with his 19th HR of the year and then Kelly Johnson delivered the Rays fourth long-ball of the night to tie things up at 4-4 in the sixth inning.
Tampa Bay grabbed it's first lead of the game in the eighth inning when Ryan Roberts, who was just re-called for James Loney who is on paternity leave, delivered a single that scored Johnson from second with two outs. The Rays would get one more in the inning on a Desmond Jennings double, scoring Roberts and giving Tampa a 6-4 lead.
The Rays added on a few insurances runs in the ninth inning extending the lead to 8-4 over Toronto. Brett Lawrie hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the ninth to cut the lead to 8-5 but the Rays would hold on for the victory. Game two of this three game series is tomorrow with coverage on 620 WDAE starting at 12 PM.