McGowan strong in Jays' loss to Rays

McGowan strong in Jays' loss to Rays

RAYS 5, BLUE JAYS 2
at St. Petersburg
Saturday, March 1

Rays at the plate: The Rays were down, 2-0, early but back-to-back RBI triples by Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist set up a four-run sixth inning. Mike DiFelice had an RBI single, and Justin Ruggiano singled and scored. Longoria's shot off the center-field wall drove in two, while Zobrist's sharp hit down the left-field line scored Longoria. Off the bench, Elliot Johnson went 2-for-2 with two doubles and two runs scored.

Blue Jays at the plate: John McDonald's sacrifce fly broke a scoreless tie in the second inning. Aaron Hill doubled and scored both of the Blue Jays' runs. Rod Barajas had an RBI single in the fourth.

Rays on the mound: Starter James Shields surrendered one run, one hit, one walk and a hit batsman in two innings. Al Reyes struck out one and allowed one run and a pair of hits, while Dan Wheeler pitched a scoreless fifth inning, allowing one hit. Gary Wheeler pitched one inning, giving up one walk. Scott Dohman pitched one scoreless inning, allowing two hits, and J.P. Howell allowed one hit and struck out a batter in one inning. Mitch Talbot picked up the save, allowing two hits and no runs.

Blue Jays on the mound: Dustin McGowan started and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits. Casey Janssen pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a pair of hits and striking out two. John Parrish pitched a perfect fifth inning before Ryan Ketchner was charged with five hits and four runs in one inning. Jean Machi allowed two hits and one run in one inning, and Jesse Carlson pitched one inning, allowing no hits and no runs.

Grapefruit League records: Rays (2-0), Blue Jays (0-3).

Up next: Righty Jeff Niemann will make his spring debut on Sunday, when the Rays travel to Bradenton, Fla., to face the Pirates at McKechnie Field at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Blue Jays right-hander A.J. Burnett will also be making his Grapefruit League debut when Toronto hosts Cincinnati at 12:35 p.m. ET on Sunday at Knology Park in Dunedin, Fla.

Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.