Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Toronto on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim)
Aaron Vincent Elkaim, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP
Buehrle gets 9th win, Blue Jays beat Rays 9-6
- Article by: IAN HARRISON
- Associated Press
- May 27, 2014 - 10:20 PM
TORONTO — Mark Buehrle became the first nine-game winner in the majors, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind hit back-to-back home runs and the Toronto Blue Jays extended their winning streak to eight games, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 on Tuesday night.
Juan Francisco also homered for the AL East-leading Blue Jays, who have won 13 of 15 and are 19-7 in May.
Buehrle (9-1) allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings to win his season-best fifth straight decision. The left-hander walked one and struck out three.
Casey Janssen finished for his eighth save in as many chances.
Encarnacion connected for the 14th time in May, matching Jose Bautista's team record for home runs in a month. Bautista hit 14 homers in June 2012.
The Blue Jays lead the majors with 76 home runs. They have gone deep in 10 straight games and 29 of their past 34, hitting 58 homers in that span.
Sean Rodriguez had three RBIs for the Rays, who lost their second straight following a season-best four-game winning streak.
Lind and Encarnacion both connected off Rays right-hander Alex Cobb, who lost for the first time since April 1 and saw his streak of 24 2-3 scoreless innings snapped.
Cobb (1-2) allowed season-worsts of six runs and nine hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out seven.
The Rays gave Cobb the lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Rodriguez and an RBI grounder by Will Myers, but the right-hander couldn't hold it for long. Brett Lawrie and Dioner Navarro hit two-out RBI singles in the bottom half to tie the game and snap Cobb's team-record scoreless streak. Cobb had not allowed an earned run since his first start, April 1 against Toronto.
Jose Reyes began the fifth with a line drive that struck Cobb on the right hip, knocking him to the ground. Cobb appeared shaken up, but stayed in the game after a few warmup pitches.
Last June, Cobb was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City's Eric Hosmer and wound up in hospital. He didn't return until mid-August.
Things unraveled quickly for Cobb after that. Reyes went to second on a grounder and scored on Bautista's single. Lind hit an opposite field home run and, two pitches later, Encarnacion drilled a towering homer into the third deck, his 16th, tying him with Baltimore's Nelson Cruz for most in the majors.
Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth but Toronto added two more in the bottom half on an RBI single by Melky Cabrera and a bases-loaded balk by reliever Brad Boxberger.
The Rays chased Buehrle in the seventh when James Loney doubled and scored on Matt Joyce's RBI grounder.
Francisco replied in the bottom half with a leadoff homer off Josh Lueke.
Rodriguez tripled home a run off Steve Delabar in the eighth and scored on Myers' sacrifice fly.
NOTES: The Rays selected C Ali Solis from Triple-A Durham and transferred RHP Matt Moore (elbow) to the 60-day DL. ... Rays RHP Chris Archer (3-2) faces Blue Jays RHP Liam Hendriks (1-0) in Wednesday's series finale.
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