TORONTO (AP) — Yunel Escobar riled up the crowd with an exaggerated display after a home run in the eighth inning and Sean Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th that lifted the Tampa Bay Rays over the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Sunday.
A frequent target of boos in Toronto after being suspended by the Blue Jays for writing an anti-gay slur on his eye-black in 2012, Escobar homered off the facing of the fourth deck against Todd Redmond.READ MORE: How's This For A Photobomb? Palm Bay Cop Takes Selfie With Gator Stuck In Storm Drain
Escobar drew more jeers by facing the crowd and making an elaborate safe sign as he crossed home plate.
Ben Zobrist homered as the Rays took two of three from Toronto, dealing the Blue Jays a blow in their chase for an AL wild-card berth. Toronto came in four games out of a playoff spot.
Toronto pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. connected for a tying, solo home run with two outs in the ninth off Jake McGee. It was the seventh career pinch-hit homer for Mayberry and his fourth this season.
McGee (5-2) blew a save for the fourth time this year, but wound up with the win. Brandon Gomes got two outs in the 10th and Jeff Beliveau finished for his first save.
Brandon Morrow (1-3) walked Wil Myers to begin the 10th. After Logan Forsythe singled, reliever Brett Cecil walked Escobar to load the bases for Rodriguez.
Edwin Encarnacion hit his 32nd homer, a solo shot off Rays starter Chris Archer in the seventh. Adam Lind added a three-run drive off Grant Balfour in the eighth.
Kevin Kiermaier opened the scoring with an RBI grounder off Mark Buehrle in the third and Zobrist followed with his 10th homer.READ MORE: CDC Advisers Recommend Who Can Get Booster Shots Of Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine
The Rays doubled their lead in the fourth. Evan Longoria led off with a single and Myers was credited with a double when right fielder Jose Bautista lost his fly ball in the sun. Longoria scored on Forsythe’s groundout and, two batters later, Ryan Hanigan hit an RBI single.
Rays: Tampa Bay returns home Monday to begin a three-game series against the New York Yankees, with RHP Alex Colome (1-0) facing LHP Chris Capuano (1-2). Colome will be making his fifth major league start, and his second against the Yankees.
Blue Jays: Toronto opens a three-game series against the AL East-leading Orioles in Baltimore Monday, with RHP Marcus Stroman (10-5) facing Baltimore LHP Wei-Yin Chen ((15-4). Stroman was pushed back a day for extra rest and, coupled with Thursday’s off day, will be pitching for the first time since Sept. 8. It’s his first career start against the Orioles.
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