Souza homers twice as Rays beat Blue Jays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Steven Souza Jr.’s first multihomer game helped the Tampa Bay Rays to a second straight late come-from-behind victory.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Steven Souza Jr.’s first multihomer game helped the Tampa Bay Rays to a second straight late come-from-behind victory.

Souza’s second home run of the game, a go-ahead, three-run drive in the eighth inning, lifted the Rays over the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Wednesday.

Erasmo Ramirez (1-0) allowed one hit over the final two innings as the Rays split the four-game series after losing the first two.

“Just to even it up with those guys over there was so big for us,” Souza said. “It’s a great team over there. Obviously a playoff team and one of the best in the American League.”

Souza pulled Tampa Bay to 3-2 in the sixth with a solo homer off J.A. Happ. Tampa Bay has homered in a team-record 18 consecutive games dating to Sept. 20.

“I’m just staying within myself,” Souza said. “Letting the ball take its course.”

Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings singled off Gavin Floyd (0-1) in the eighth, and Arnold Leon relieved with one out. Souza homered to centre for his fourth hit of the game, tying his career high.

Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the third off Matt Moore.

The reigning AL MVP left after a seventh-inning at-bat with a strained right calf.

“The calf just sort of locked up,” Donaldson said. “I tried to go three or four innings with it. It was just one of those situations where one, I didn’t think I was quite able to play defence the way I wanted to, and two, if I had to try and run, it was pretty difficult. But I don’t think it’s too serious and, hopefully, I’ll be back for our next game.”

Troy Tulowitzki nearly made it 6-0 later in the third, but his drive with two on was caught by centre fielder Kevin Kiermaier near the wall at the deepest part of the ballpark.

Tampa Bay won 3-2 Tuesday night on a disputed game-ending double play in the ninth that was the result of a video review under baseball’s new slide rules. Logan Forsythe had given Tampa Bay the one-run lead with a two-run homer in the eighth of that game.

“Not a real good 24 hours, put it that way,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

The Blue Jays failed in a bid to win their fourth series in the last 26 trips to Tropicana Field.

“Obviously an exciting win,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

“Anytime you drop the first two and you can come back, whether it’s the opening series, last series, whatever, it feels pretty good. It’s a quality split because we put ourselves in a little bit of a hole.”

Moore gave up three runs, five hits and two walks in five innings with six strikeouts. Happ allowed two runs and seven hits in six-plus innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: LF Michael Saunders, who played the first three games of the series on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field, got the day off. He was limited to nine games last season due to left knee injuries. . RHP Marco Estrada (back) remained on schedule to start Sunday against Boston LHP David Price.

STRIKEOUT ZONE

Rays pitchers struck out 46 during the series. “They have a pretty good pitching staff over there,” Gibbons said. “That’s what they do.”

REAL HIGH FLY

Casali hit a pop fly that struck an overhanging catwalk 194 feet above the infield in the third inning that was caught by Tulowitzki at shortstop. It was just the fourth ball to strike the ‘A’ ring, which is in play, since the Rays started playing at Tropicana Field in 1998.

MOVING DAY

The Rays claimed OF Jake Goebbert off waivers from Pittsburgh and optioned him to Triple-A Durham.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (1-0) is to face Boston RHP Rick Porcello on Friday night in Toronto’s home opener. . The Blue Jays are scheduled to work out Thursday in Toronto.

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (0-1) will start a three-game trip against Baltimore and RHP Chris Tillman of Friday night. The Tampa Bay ace is 0-4 with a 5.50 ERA in seven starts since the beginning of last September.

Just Posted

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Red Deer Hospice celebrates hitting fundraising halfway mark

Red Deer Hospice Society in middle of $5.2-million expansion

Separate events raised funds for Alzheimer’s and cancer

Nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with a form of cancer in their lifetimes.

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

VANCOUVER — A former Liberal environment minister is urging Prime Minister Justin… Continue reading

School bus driver charged with drunk driving

THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON — Three impaired driving-related charges have been laid… Continue reading

Canadians in Hong Kong worried for neighbours as protests roil former colony

As mass protests in Hong Kong grab headlines around the world, expatriate… Continue reading

To hit environment goals, feds should create ‘super’ tax credit, report says

OTTAWA — A government-struck expert panel is calling for new “super-deduction” tax… Continue reading

Calgary’s Michael Klukas to live childhood ambition in Stampeders opener

CALGARY — The dream never died for Michael Klukas. Born and raised… Continue reading

Thompson sustains torn left ACL in Warriors’ Game 6 loss

OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson sustained a torn ACL in his left… Continue reading

Championship timeline: Reliving the Toronto Raptors’ road to the NBA title

The Toronto Raptors captured their first NBA championship in franchise history on… Continue reading

Top 20 Global Concert Tours from Pollstar

The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office… Continue reading

Swift calls out homophobes on new song, announces 7th album

NEW YORK — Taylor Swift’s latest song has a new target: homophobes.… Continue reading

Blue Jays hit 3 HRs, notch 17 hits in 12-3 rout of Orioles

Blue Jays 12, Orioles 3 BALTIMORE — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered to… Continue reading

Most Read