MLB·Recap

Josh Donaldson, Justin Smoak homer in Blue Jays' win over Rays

Drew Hutchison won for the seventh time this season at Rogers Centre and Justin Smoak and Josh Donaldson homered in a five-run fifth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 on Friday night.

Hutchison earns 1st victory in 3 starts

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson connects for a two-run home run in the fifth inning against the Rays on Friday night in Toronto. Justin Smoak also homered in a five-run fifth inning to help the Jays to a 6-2 victory. Drew Hutchison pitched six strong innings, limiting Tampa Bay to two runs, to earn his ninth win of the season. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Drew Hutchison is constantly reminded that he has been pitching better at home than on the road.

Hutchison won for the seventh time this season at Rogers Centre on Friday and Justin Smoak and Josh Donaldson homered in a five-run fifth inning as the Blue Jays defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Rays 6-2.

"It was the opposite last year, we talked about this, we can beat it dead as much as we want," Hutchison said of his home-and-away splits. "I would prefer to keep pitching well here and then pitch better on the road."

Hutchison (9-2), who took a 2.12 earned-run average into the game after his first eight starts at home, allowed five hits, two walks and two runs in six innings.

The righty is 2-1 with an 8.81 ERA in 10 starts on the road this season.

"I think I threw the changeup more and threw quality changeups instead of just throwing one and it not being quality," Hutchison said. "I think it just comes down to executing pitches, as boring as that sounds it's really what it is. Executing quality pitches for balls and strikes."

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the key was fastball command.

"That's exactly what I saw," Gibbons said. "He was really good tonight. It's pretty obvious when he's on that's what he's doing. Why does this happen so much more at home as opposed to when he's on the road? It's got to be easier to pitch on the road. I've seen him good way too many times in the last couple of years, I think he's going to bounce back and have a good second half for us, like he did last year. It's a key to us."

Donaldson hit a two-run homer to give the Blue Jays the lead in the fifth and Smoak added to the lead with his three-run blast.


Right-fielder Grady Sizemore homered for the Rays.

Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi (5-6), making his second start since spending a month on the disabled list with left oblique tightness, lasted 4 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits, including two home runs, five walks and six runs.

"Probably the best I've warmed up all season," Odorizzi said. "It didn't really carry over that well, obviously. I just couldn't find a good release point early.

"They're dangerous. You see how quickly they can score runs. I was bad and they hit some mistakes in the last inning."

The Blue Jays (46-46) got back to .500 with their win over the Rays (46-46).

Sizemore hit a 3-1 fastball to centre with two out in the third for his second home run of the season to put the Rays ahead 1-0.

The Blue Jays got their first hit of the game when Smoak doubled to right with one out in the fourth. Smoak took third on a single by catcher Russell Martin and left-fielder Chris Colabello tied the game with a sacrifice fly to deep centre.

Second baseman Devon Travis singled to lead off the fifth and took second on a sacrifice by shortstop Jose Reyes. Donaldson hit his 22nd homer of the season when he smashed a 2-1 splitter to right-centre field to put Toronto into a 3-1 lead.

Smoak extended the lead to 6-1 with his ninth homer of the season, a three-run blast to left on a first-pitch splitter. It came after right fielder Jose Bautista walked, and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion doubled.

"I was kind of surprised that he took that healthy of a swing on a first pitch, a pitch that's going away from him," Odorizzi said.

The Rays scored once in the sixth on a double by third baseman Evan Longoria and a single by second baseman Logan Forsythe.

Right-hander Bo Schultz pitched two innings after replacing Hutchison and right-hander Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth.

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