Norris tries to get right vs. Rays

( – Toronto rookie Daniel Norris tries to work through some
arm troubles on Saturday when the Blue Jays resume their three-game series
with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Norris was banged around on Sunday by Atlanta, as the Braves ripped him for
five runs (4 earned) and six hits in just 2 2/3 innings to drop him to 1-1 on
the year to go along with a 6.08 ERA.

After the game the lefty, who turns 22 on Saturday, admitted to an arm issue.

“I’m going through a little bit of a dead-arm phase, so it’s really tough for
me to feel that late life on everything that I was used to in Spring Training,
Norris said.

“I can definitely get through it, dead arm is just something where you feel
100 percent fine, it just doesn’t come out like it usually does. Even if I
throw one that says 93 or 94 mph, it just doesn’t have the same life on it. I
can’t really command it the way I’m used to.”

Norris had earned a no-decision his previous time out against Tampa Bay,
yielding a pair of runs in five innings.

Tampa, meanwhile, will turn to ineffective righty Erasmo Ramirez, who is 0-1
and has allowed 15 earned runs in just 6 1/3 innings this season. Ramirez’s
lone start was a huge disappointment back on April 15, as the Blue Jays ripped
him for nine runs (8 earned) in only 3 1/3 innings of work.

Tampa drew first blood in this set on Friday, as James Loney, Rene Rivera and
Tim Beckham clubbed two-run homers, and the Rays rolled to a 12-3 win.

Loney, activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday, hit his first home run
of the year, a shot to right in the fourth inning. Rivera went deep later in
the frame and the Rays poured it on by scoring five times in the fifth for
their third consecutive win.

Drew Smyly, who hadn’t pitched this season due to tendinitis in his pitching
shoulder, gave up four hits and a pair of runs over 4 2/3 innings. Smyly, the
first lefty starter used by the Rays in 2015, had five strikeouts and was
removed after making 79 pitches.

“It felt great to be out there,” Smyly said. “My pitches were pretty good. It
was a great first game.”

Jose Dominguez (1-1) tossed the following 1 1/3 frames for his first career

R.A. Dickey (0-2) was shelled for nine hits and eight runs — seven earned —
over 4 2/3 frames. The knuckleball specialist has lost both of his decisions
this year to the Rays.

Devon Travis and Justin Smoak went deep for Toronto, which was coming off a
three-game sweep of the Orioles.

The Rays won three of four versus the Blue Jays from April 13-16 in Toronto.