St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Jeff Niemann twirled a brilliant two-hit shutout and Carlos Pena belted two home runs, one of which was a grand slam, as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-0, in the opener of a three-game series at Tropicana Field.
Niemann (6-0), who remained undefeated this season, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended his stellar outing with six strikeouts and one walk for Tampa Bay, which has won four of its last six games overall.
The only hits allowed by Niemann were a single by Mike McCoy in the sixth inning and a base hit by Adam Lind in the seventh for the Blue Jays, who have lost four of their last six after they ended the month of May with four straight victories.
Brian Tallet (1-2) suffered the loss after he allowed five runs on six hits in four-plus innings of work.
After Pena's solo blast in the fourth inning opened the scoring, the Rays exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth and made the contest a laugher.
Reid Brignac led off with a walk and moved to second after B.J. Upton singled. Sean Rodriguez was then hit by a pitch to load the bases before Longoria's two-run single down the line in left field gave the Rays a three-run lead.
Rommie Lewis then entered from the Toronto bullpen and yielded a one-out single to Aybar. Kelly Shoppach's walk again loaded the bases, and this time Pena hit a towering bomb that nearly clanked off the skywalk near the roof above right field and the Rays led by an 8-0 score.
Aybar's RBI single in the sixth capped the scoring.
All three of Niemann's career complete games have been shutouts...The Rays pounded out 12 hits...Niemann threw 114 pitches, 69 for strikes...Pena now has 11 home runs this season, while Longoria upped his RBI total for 2010 to 46...Lewis was charged with four runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings.