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Recap: Blue Jays 3, Rays 1
Line Movements    BT Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Charlotte Sports Park
Date: March 21, 2013 1:05 PM EDT
  

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) - With every ball that Jose Bautista launches far over the wall, the Toronto Blue Jays are more certain he's back to form.

Bautista hit his fifth home run of the spring, a long solo shot that helped the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Thursday.

Bautista, a two-time home run champion, had season-ending surgery on his left wrist last Sept. 4. He finished the year with 27 homers and 65 RBIs while batting .241.

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His drive to deep left-center field was another reassuring sign for his team.

``He's healthy. We've felt good about him the last three weeks,' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. ``He's gotten past that and shown no signs of anything being wrong.'

Roberto Hernandez is feeling better himself, too.

The Tampa Bay pitcher threw six innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two and walking no one. He also got Bautista to ground into a double play in the first. The only blemish was a home run by Colby Rasmus.

``Everything was working,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``His fastball really had good dive to it. Nice changeup, His slider. All good.'

By now, most are somewhat familiar with the Hernandez story. He is probably still best known as Fausto Carmona. It was under that name that in 2007, at age 26, he went 19-8, finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting and helped the Indians get within a game of World Series.

A big contract followed, but Hernandez was never able to replicate the success he enjoyed that season. His heavy sinking fastball didn't sink enough, and he couldn't locate the rest of his pitches.

The 32-year-old Hernandez was later arrested in the Dominican Republic on false identity charges. The charges were dropped after he completed a work program, and Major League Baseball suspended him for three weeks.

Hernandez sprained his right ankle last August and missed the rest of the year. He has pitched seven years in the majors, all with Cleveland. He was 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA last season.

The Rays, remembering the 19-8 arm and not the struggles that followed, signed him in the offseason. He is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.

``Every game is very important for me,' he said. ``Whenever I have the opportunity to go the mound, every pitch is important. Today, I think I did great. I tried to keep the ball down and get some groundballs.'

Eugenio Velez also homered for Toronto. The Rays' only run came in the sixth inning on an infield single from James Loney.

Four Blue Jays pitchers, led by starter Claudio Vargas, combined to allow only six hits and struck out nine.

NOTES: Rays LHP Matt Moore threw 60 pitches in a simulated game. Moore needed the work after missing his start as a result of Wednesday's rainout. ... Evan Longoria hit his team-leading sixth double for the Rays. ... Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings stole third base standing up for his sixth spring training theft.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  +125   -161    
 TAM  -145   +139   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  +120       
 TAM  -140      
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  n/a   n/a   n/a 
 TAM  n/a   n/a   n/a 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB RECAPS
 Thursday, Mar 21
 
    Blue Jays at Rays
1:05 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Mets
1:10 PM EDT
    Brewers at White Sox
4:05 PM EDT
    Athletics at Reds
4:05 PM EDT
    Indians at Diamondbacks
4:10 PM EDT
    Astros at Tigers
6:05 PM EDT
    Nationals at Braves
6:05 PM EDT
    Pirates at Orioles
7:05 PM EDT
    Phillies at Red Sox
7:05 PM EDT
    Twins at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
    Angels at Rangers
9:05 PM EDT
    Rockies at Giants
10:05 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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