ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — J.A. Happ won in his first game at Tropicana Field since a scary injury three months ago and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 on Saturday.
Happ (3-2), who suffered a skull fracture and sprained right knee when he fell to the ground after getting hit with a liner by Desmond Jennings on May 7, allowed two runs and five hits over 5 1-3 innings. It was his third start overall since returning from the disabled list.
It was Happ’s first victory since beating Kansas City on April 12.
Adam Lind homered twice for the Blue Jays. Jose Bautista hit his 28th homer of the season.
Happ retired nine in a row before Jason Bourgeois opened the fourth with a bunt single down the first base line. Happ fielded the bunt and landed hard on his right knee while shoveling the ball to first from his glove. The left-hander stayed in the game after making a couple of warmup throws.
Ben Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly and Yunel Escobar had a run-scoring single later in the fourth to get Tampa Bay within 3-2.
Bautista put the Blue Jays up 1-0 on a solo shot off Roberto Hernandez (6-13) in the first. Edwin Encarnacion drove in a run with a grounder and Brett Lawrie had an RBI single as Toronto took a 3-0 lead in the third.
Lind had a solo shot and Lawrie scored a nifty base running play to put the Blue Jays ahead 5-2 in the sixth. Lawrie was on second and took off for third, catching reliever Alex Torres off guard. The Rays left-hander made a last-second errant throw to third that allowed Lawrie to score.
Lind added a solo drive in the eighth. He move past Ernie Whitt (131) into eighth place on the Blue Jays’ career home run list with 133.
Hernandez gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Happ’s outing came two days after Tampa Bay’s Alex Cobb allowed one run over five innings in the Rays’ 7-1 victory over Seattle, his first big league game since being hit in the head by a batted ball two months ago.
Cobb sustained a concussion after being struck on the right ear by a liner hit by Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer on June 15 at Tropicana Field.
NOTES: Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes was out of the lineup with right knee soreness and is not expected back until Tuesday. … Tampa Bay placed DH Luke Scott on the 15-day DL due to lower back spasms and reinstated RHP Brandon Gomes (strained right lat) from the 60-day DL. … OF Wil Myers was the Rays’ DH for the third consecutive game. Manager Joe Maddon said Myers is physically fine, and that the rookie handles the DH role well. Maddon added it’s also an opportunity to keep Myers off his feet. … Jennings is on the DL with a broken left middle finger, but could return Monday.