Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Evan Longoria scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning thanks to an error by Yunel Escobar, as the Rays withstood a Toronto power surge to edge the Blue Jays, 9-8, in the opener of a three-game series.
Tampa Bay held an 8-1 lead before the Blue Jays hit four home runs to tie the contest. Jose Bautista hit two of them to boost his major league-leading total to 46.
But in the top of the ninth, Kevin Gregg (1-5) walked Longoria and Carlos Pena with one out before Sean Rodriguez hit a hard grounder to first. Lyle Overbay threw to second base to start the double play, but Escobar’s return throw sailed wide, and Longoria crossed the plate to put the Rays in front.
Rafael Soriano struck out the side in the bottom half to secure the critical victory for the Rays, who entered Friday’s game 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East.
09/10 22:20:41 ET