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Jake Odorizzi's much-needed strong outing lifts Rays past Blue Jays (w/video)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) delivers during the first inning of an MLB baseball game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, May 6, 2017.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) delivers during the first inning of an MLB baseball game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, May 6, 2017.
Published May 6, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG — Jake Odorizzi gave the Rays exactly what they were looking for Saturday, delivering a solid seven-inning start to lead them to a 6-1 win over the Blue Jays.

Odorizzi, who returned Monday from a two-week DL stint due to a hamstring strain, was in command and control, allowing only three hits and no walks while striking out six and throwing 107 pitches.

The Jays scored first on a home run by No. 2 hitter Ezequiel Carrera that hit a seat beyond the fence and bounced back with no signal from second-base ump Alfonso Marquez, leading to some confusion over whether it was technically an inside-the-park homer.

The Rays grabbed the lead in the third, as Evan Longoria singled with two outs and Logan Morrison followed with his team-high seventh homer, putting him on pace for 35 for the season.

That combination sparked the Rays again in the sixth, as Longoria, who rejoined the lineup Wednesday after missing two games due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot, led off with a double and Morrison followed with another double to extend the lead to 3-1.

An out later, Colby Rasmus delivered his first home run with the Rays to make it 5-1.

The Rays also flashed some leather, with infielders Brad Miller, Tim Beckham and Morrison all making highlight-worthy plays before a small crowd of just 12,035 despite a Bubble Blowin' Longo giveaway.

The win got the Rays back to .500 again at 16-16 — they haven't been over since being 10-9 on April 22 — as they seek to win the series Sunday, with Alex Cobb on the mound.

Marc Topkin can be reached at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.