Blue Jays
4 - 6 Final/11
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McDonald's two-run homer lifts Jays over Rays in 11 innings

Apr 23, 2011 - 5:24 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - John McDonald belted a two-run homer off Adam Russell in the bottom of the 11th inning, boosting the Blue Jays to a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jose Bautista came up a single short of the cycle, walked twice and scored four times, as Toronto bounced back from a Wednesday loss to the Yankees and grabbed the opener of this three-game series. Adam Lind added a pair of RBI for the Blue Jays.

Sam Fuld went 3-for-5 with an RBI, scored three times and stole a pair of bases for the Rays, who have lost back-to-back games since winning eight of nine. B.J. Upton knocked in two runs.

Cesar Ramos fanned Travis Snider to begin the 11th, but Russell (1-1) then entered the game and allowed a single to Juan Rivera. McDonald, who came in the game at second base as a replacement for an injured Jayson Nix, then turned on a belt-high 1-0 fastball and crushed it over the wall in left for his first homer of the year.

"Johnny Mac has certainly turned himself into a surprise power type hitter. He can got get a fastball in certain counts and he did just that tonight," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

Farrell added that x-rays taken on Nix were negative, but he's going to have an MRI in the morning just to rule out any structural issues.

Marc Rzepczynski (2-0) fanned Ben Zobrist for the final out in the top of the 11th to get the win.

Both starters - Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson and Toronto Jo-Jo Reyes - each went seven frames, giving up six hits and fanning six batters.

Fuld singled and stole second in the opening inning before scoring on Upton's sacrifice fly to center, but Toronto tied it in the bottom half. Bautista doubled to left when the ball got by Fuld. It looked as if Bautista was out at second on his slide, but second base umpire Mike Everitt ruled him safe. Lind's single to center tied the game.

Fuld was at it again in the third, singling with one out, stealing third and scoring on Upton's base hit to center -- a liner right past the head of Reyes.

Bautista tripled to right leading off the fourth and Lind followed with a double to the gap in left-center, but the Blue Jays wasted a bases-loaded chance later in the inning.

Fuld tripled in Kelly Shoppach in the fifth and Johnny Damon then laced an RBI double to the right field corner to give the Rays a 4-2 edge.

Bautista homered to left with two down in the fifth, and Toronto tied the game in the eighth. Joel Peralta walked Bautista, the lead-off hitter, on four pitches. Bautista went to second on a groundout and scored on Edwin Encarnacion's double over the head of Zobrist in right field. Rivera grounded out to end the inning, leaving a pair of runners on base.

A second chance for the cycle for Bautista failed in the 10th. He walked leading off the frame, but the next three batters were retired on fly balls.

Game Notes

Nix departed in the second inning due to an apparent left leg injury. Sean Rodriguez went hard into second for a take-out slide and connected with his spike to the left leg of Nix, who walked off the field and was helped into the dugout...Damon has an 11-game hitting streak...Two Blue Jays have hit for the cycle -- Kelly Gruber on April 16, 1989 against Kansas City at Exhibition Stadium, and Jeff Frye vs. Texas on August 17, 2001 at this current stadium, known then as SkyDome...Bautista has five homers this year.