ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — It was one of those nights for R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball.
"Sometimes that's the nature of the pitch," Dickey said. "I threw some really bad ones tonight that they hit. Sometimes those get popped up or not swung at. You give what you've got. Sometimes it's great and sometimes you stink. Tonight it stunk."
Dickey (0-2) gave up eight runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Both of his losses have come against the Rays.
James Loney, Rene Rivera and Tim Beckham each hit a two-run homer in Tampa Bay's third consecutive victory. Jose Dominguez (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for his first major league win, and Matt Andriese pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
"Believe it or not we had the lead at one point," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They took it to use pretty good. They're tough. They play us well."
Devon Travis' fifth home run was the first of four straight Toronto hits off Drew Smyly in the fourth, giving the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
Travis tied Doug Ault (1977) for the second-most April homers by a Toronto rookie. Carlos Delgado (1994) has the record with eight.
The Blue Jays did not score again until Justin Smoak's home run in the ninth.
Smyly, making his first start of the season after being hampered by tendinitis in spring training, gave up four hits and struck out five in 4 2/3 innings.
The home runs by Loney and Rivera came in a four-run fourth inning.
Returning from the disabled list after missing 15 games with a strained right oblique, Loney went deep for the first time since Sept. 9. Rivera's homer was his first for the Rays.
Beckham hit his third homer of the season off Jeff Francis in the seventh.
Evan Longoria drove in his first run in 12 games with a sacrifice fly in Tampa Bay's five-run fifth. Kevin Kiermaier completed that outburst with a fly ball that went off the glove of left fielder Steve Tolleson for a four-base error.
Blue Jays: OF Jose Bautista missed a third straight game with a sore shoulder. Gibbons said Bautista will not go on the disabled list and is likely to DH a game or two before returning to the outfield.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb said he felt great after throwing 22 fastballs in his first bullpen session since being sidelined during spring training by forearm tendinitis. ... Closer Jake McGee (back stiffness) is scheduled to throw off a mound Saturday.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman, out for the season with a knee injury, will start summer school May 4 at Duke. He is one semester short of his sociology degree. "It's a chance to get my degree and rehab with some of the best doctors in the world," he said.
Blue Jays: OF Michael Saunders, who has yet to play after injuring his knee in spring training, was activated from the 15-day disabled list after the game. Tolleson was designated for assignment.
Rays: RF Steven Souza Jr. will be back in the starting lineup Saturday night after being rested Friday, which was his 26th birthday.
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