Out since mid-April with a sprained left ankle, the veteran shortstop will be activated from the disabled Wednesday when the visiting Blue Jays try to salvage the finale against a Rays team looking for its fourth consecutive win.
Toronto (38-38) entered this series averaging 6.4 runs and 8.7 hits during a franchise-tying 11-game winning streak, but it's totaled two and 10 hits in the first two. Losers in four straight at Tropicana Field, the Blue Jays have not won any of its last 19 road series against the Rays (41-37).
Reyes, however, could provide a spark to help the club get back on track."I'm very excited about it," he said. "I missed two months of doing what I love to do and now I know I'm going to be on the field one more time around my team."
Reyes hit .395 with a homer and five RBIs in 10 games when he was injured April 12 at Kansas City."He's one of those centerpieces of our team," manager John Gibbons said. "Before he got hurt he was great. He was playing really well. He's been gone a while and now maybe he can put us over the top. We'll see."
Scheduled starter R.A. Dickey (6-8, 5.15 ERA) was another of Toronto's high-profile offseason acquisitions but has been inconsistent in 2013.
The knuckleballer is 2-1 in four June starts despite a 5.01 ERA over those outings. He gave up a run in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-1 win at Texas on June 15, then allowed six and three home runs in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 7-6 win over Baltimore on Friday."I had a pretty good knuckleball going into the game, threw a couple of hangers up there and they got punished in bad situations," he said.
The right-hander has allowed 10 hits and no homers while going 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his last three starts versus Tampa Bay. He's yielded six runs - four earned - and worked around nine walks in 14 innings to go 1-0 against the Rays in 2013.
Slugger Jose Bautista went 0 for 3 in Tuesday's 5-1 defeat, and is 1 for 15 in the last four at Tropicana Field.
Wil Myers drove in his eighth run in nine career games for Rays, who have won five of seven. He's 3 for 8 and also has a homer in the series.
Tampa Bay's Roberto Hernandez (4-8, 5.14) looks to avoid losing three straight starts for the second time in 2013. The right-hander allowed five runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 6-2 loss at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
Hernandez is 3-1 with a 4.12 ERA in seven starts versus Toronto. He gave up a solo homer to Adam Lind , four other hits and struck out seven in six innings before leaving without a decision in a 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays on May 7.
He's yielded two earned runs and eight hits over 14 2-3 innings to win both of his interleague starts in 2013.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||60-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|June 01, 2013||Brandon Morrow||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Left ankle sprain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||Day-to-Day||Ankle sprain|
|May 19, 2013||Darren Oliver||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|June 16, 2013||Alex Cobb||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 05, 2013||Kelly Johnson||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|May 16, 2013||David Price||15-Day DL||Left triceps strain|
|May 15, 2013||David Price||Day-to-Day||Left tricep tightness|
|May 08, 2013||Brandon Gomes||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|May 04, 2013||Yunel Escobar||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- R.A. Dickey baffled the Tampa Bay Rays again.
Dickey pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game of the year, Jose Reyes went 0 for 4 in his return from a two-month layoff and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Rays 3-0 Wednesday for their 12th win in 14 games.
"I just concentrate on trying to produce a good knuckleball down in the strike zone for a strike, and today I was able to do that," Dickey said. "Mechanically, I was very repeatable, and you saw the results. They were hitting a lot of ground balls, I had a high strike percentage, so that's what I'm looking for."
Dickey (7-8) retired his first 13 batters before James Loney grounded a single between shortstop and third base with one out in the fifth. Yunel Escobar had a one-out single in the sixth, then was erased when Matt Joyce hit a double-play grounder.
"Tremendous," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You could tell early on he had it going. That ball was dancing. Big break. We played a nice ballgame and as good a game as you can pitch, I guess, unless it's perfect."
Dickey struck out six and walked one. The knuckleballer pitched a one-hitter for the New York Mets against the Rays on June 13 last year, allowing B.J. Upton's first-inning infield single.
"He was really good, there's no question," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We didn't hit, I think, even one ball hard. He was just on top of his game."
Only one Tampa Bay runner, Desmond Jennings who walked and stole second in the seventh, advanced past first base.
Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, who had lost two in a row after tying their team record of 11 straight wins.
Reyes, the All-Star shortstop traded from Miami to Toronto during the offseason, had been sidelined since severely spraining his left ankle sliding into second base during an April 12 game at Kansas City. He grounded out three times, stranding runners on second in the third and fifth innings, and also flied out. His average dropped from .397 to .357 (15 for 42).
"Everything felt the way that I expected," Reyes said. "I enjoyed being out there because I missed that for a long time."
Reyes also made a nifty defensive play in the first inning, going into the hole to make a back-handed grab and then throw out Jennings at first.
"It's fun to feel the effect of that right out of the chute," Dickey said. "I've played with him for a while now, and I'll tell my grandkids about him. He's that good of a player."
Jose Bautista doubled leading off the fourth and scored on Melky Cabrera 's two-out single. Lind homered in the sixth and Encarnacion in the ninth.
Roberto Hernandez (4-9) gave up three runs and six hits in eight-plus innings.
"I think Roberto was fantastic," Maddon said. "That was probably his best game all year. Both sides pitched well."
NOTES: To make room for Reyes, Toronto optioned SS Munenori Kawasaki to Triple-A Buffalo after Tuesday's game. It was a move that prompted Gibbons to hold a team meeting to announce the news. "It's always tough sending anybody out, but there's something special about this guy," Gibbons said. "He was so well-liked and loved by this teammates. He'll be back." Gibbons said this is first time he has done something like that in his managerial career. ... The game was played in 2 hours, 10 minutes. ... 2B Ben Zobrist took a hit away from Lind in the second, diving to his right to field a hard shot and then throwing to first.