(Reuters) - Tampa Bay rookie starter Matt Moore fared better than his Toronto counterpart Drew Hutchison as the Rays blasted three home runs in an 8-5 victory on Tuesday.
The Rays rocked 21-year-old Hutchison for six runs in four innings to take a 6-0 lead, then held on for the win despite some struggles from 22-year-old Moore on the mound.
Luke Scott ignited the home offense with a solo shot in the second inning, and Carlos Pena delivered a three-run homer in the fourth where Tampa Bay put five runs on the board.
It was a particularly big blow for Pena who was in the midst of an 0-for-18 slump and was moved from the middle of the lineup to leadoff in an effort to spark his bat.
“"It's very gratifying," Pena told reporters. “The fact that we got three runs on that didn't hurt. That's why we hit, we love that feeling."
The Blue Jays (24-20), who had won five of their previous six games, pulled to 6-4 by scoring four runs in the top of the fifth against left-hander Moore, who played in a few games towards the end of last season but is still considered a rookie.
Moore walked three batters during the inning and saw Toronto bring two runners across on a pair of throwing errors on the same sequence by his team mates. Moore was relieved in the fifth and had a no-decision.
Tampa Bay (26-18) added a run in the fifth and got one last home run by B.J. Upton to remain two games behind Baltimore in the American League East.
Reliever Wade Davis tossed the sixth and seventh for the Rays to get the win, and the Blue Jays never did recover from Hutchison's poor starting effort.
"I just didn't give us a chance to win tonight, and put us down in too big of a hole to come back from," Hutchison said.