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Rays have a rare offensive explosion to bash Toronto Blue Jays

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Those were the Tampa Bay Rays?

The guys with a season-high 13 runs?

The guys with a season-high 17 hits?

The guys winning by a huge margin?

Yeah, those were the Rays, all right, blowing out the Toronto Blue Jays 13-2 on Monday night. All 11 position players had a hit for Tampa Bay, and four of them had home runs. The Rays improved their record to 17-19 for the season.

The Rays jumped on Toronto early, scoring two in the first, three in the second, four in the third and two more in the fourth en route to their win. Pitcher Drew Smyly struggled a bit, but he finished five innings of work and allowed only four hits and one earned run,

Steve Pierce, Desmond Jennings and Curt Casali each had three hits for the Rays. In particular, manager Kevin Cash thought it was a good sign that Jennings (hitting .185) had his three.

“That’s a great sign,” Cash said. “No doubt about it. Des is going to have to play a big role for us.”

Casali saw a couple of good signs himself. “It’s huge,” he said. “We don’t really do that (score without hitting homers) very well. It seems like the only time we score is by the home run.”

The Rays play the Blue Jays again tonight when Chris Archer pitches against Marcus Stroman.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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