ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays domination of the Toronto Blue Jays at home is in jeopardy thanks to Mark Buehrle and Jose Bautista.
Buehrle allowed four hits over 8 2-3 innings, Bautista homered twice, and the Blue Jays beat the Rays 3-0 on Wednesday night.
"Just another well-played game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "They got us."
With a victory in Thursday night's game, Toronto would stop a streak of 20 consecutive winless road series against the Rays. The Blue Jays, who have won two of three against the Rays to start a four-game set, haven't won a series at Tampa Bay since April 2007. Of the 20 series, the Blue Jays have lost 19 and split one.
"Obviously, it hasn't been a good place for this team," Buehrle said. "Hopefully come out and take this series tomorrow and get off to an even better start."
Buehrle (1-0) struck out 11 and walked one.
It was just the second career double-digit strikeout game in 430 major league starts for Buehrle. The other was a 12-strikeout game on April 16, 2005 against Seattle, while with the Chicago White Sox.
"That ball was running, ducking, and darting," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
Bautista put the Blue Jays ahead 1-0 on his first homer of the season, a solo shot off Matt Moore (0-1) in the fourth. Dioner Navarro made it 2-0 later in the inning with an RBI single.
Toronto went up 3-0 on Bautista's second homer, a towering solo drive to left off Josh Lueke during the seventh. It was the slugger's 22nd multihomer game.
"Bautista is the guy who really hurt us tonight with the homers," Maddon said. "For the most part their offense was centered around one guy. He can do that kind of stuff."
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