TORONTO – The Rays are heading back home a roll after capping their first road trip with an 8-4 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday.
The Rays went 7-2 on the 11-day, nine-game, three-city, two-country road trip and come home with a 12-4 overall record that matches the best in franchise history.
Sunday’s win was a team effort, with starter Charlie Morton working 4 2/3 innings and six relievers combining for final 13 outs. Wilmer Font allowed a walk and a home to start the ninth before getting the final three outs.
The offense played small ball early in taking a 3-1 lead, then piled on with five runs in the eighth to break the game open, with two big pinch-hits, a two-run single by Mike Zunino and a home run by Guillermo Heredia.
The Rays are off Monday and open a nine-game homestand on Tuesday against the Orioles. The Rays took advantage of some mistakes by Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman, who worked at an agonizingly slow pace, so thankfully for only four innings, in building a 3-1 lead.
They got one run in the third, after a leadoff single by Michael Perez, a two-out throwing error by second baseman Lourdes Gurriel and a bases-loading walk on a 10-pitch at-bat by Avisail Garcia, when Brandon Lowe singled to right.
Then they got two more in the fourth without hitting a ball out of the infield. Kevin Kiermaier led off by dropping down a bunt, which Stroman fielded but threw wildly past first. An infield single by Willy Adames and a walk by Perez loaded the bases. They got one in when Austin Meadows grounded out to first, and the other when Yandy Diaz grounded to short.
Morton allowed a run in the first, then got out a bases-loaded mess in the fourth by breaking Brandon Drury’s bat in getting a weak pop-up.
He didn’t get the win, however, as an error by third baseman Daniel Robertson on what was a routine grounder that should have ended the fifth led to manager Kevin Cash going to the bullpen with the bases again loaded. Adam Kolarek got the win.
Contact Marc Topkin at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_Rays