Rays win again 4-3, head next to Boston
The Rays made it a clean sweep of the Blue Jays with a 4-3 win on Sunday and now head to Boston for a four-game showdown series with the AL East leading Red Sox.
The Rays looked in position for a relatively easy win as Chris Archer worked seven solid innings and Jamey Wright the eighth, while Evan Longoria, Luke Scott and Kelly Johnson homered.
But Fernando Rodney made the ninth an adventure, with help from Longoria. Rodney walked the leadoff hitter and then Longoria made an uncharacteristic and costly error, making a diving stop of Brett Lawrie's grounder but then tossing the ball over 2B Kelly Johnson's head, putting runners on first and third. Jose Reyes then doubled to right-center to make it 4-3.
Rodney then struck out Jose Bautista, got Edwin Encarnacion on a ground out, walked Adam Lind and then got Melky Cabrera to ground out.
The Rays have now won 13 of their last 14 games and 20 of 24 to improve to 58-41, and are one game back of the Red Sox, pending their Sunday night game vs. the Yankees.
The Rays were down 1-0 and struggling as usual against Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, but then Longoria homered to lead off the fourth to tie it.
They took the lead two innings later in similar fashion. James Loney, back in the lineup after the birth of his son, singled with one out and then Scott battled through a nine-pitch at-bat that started 0-2 and delivered his first hit in 13 at-bats against Dickey, a two-run homer to right. Johnson jumped on the next pitch and did the same, making it 4-1.
Archer got the Rays through seven innings, though he wasn't overly sharp, walking four and hitting another.
With top setup men Joel Peralta and Jake McGee both apparently unavailable, the Rays turned to veteran Wright to get them through the eighth inning.
Rays All-Star LHP Matt Moore starts Monday night in Boston vs. Sox rookie RHP Brandon Workman.