Blue Jays, Rays Clear Benches, Bullpens After Toronto Wins

Posted September 14, 2016

The Blue Jays had occupied sole possession of first place in the AL East as recently as September 5 but are still two games back of Boston after the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 12-2 on Monday.

"Troy made a decision to jump in and say some things that weren't really necessary", Souza said.

Fans take cover from a flying bat after Toronto Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion lost his grip while playing against the Tampa Bay Rays during third-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016.

For Carrera, his fifth home run of the season and the first pinch hit home run for the Jays since Carrera last did the trick on July 25, 2015 in Seattle.

At the same time the Red Sox were pounding on the Baltimore Orioles in MA, the Blue Jays were simply hoping to find enough offence to survive and avoid falling three games back in the AL East race for the first time since July 25.

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Liriano, prone to bouts of wildness and inefficiency throughout his career, was the exact opposite, effectively cruising through six innings until Evan Longoria and Brad Miller got to him for back-to-back jacks in the seventh, ending his night.

"Wins like that tonight are ones that can really get you on a roll so, yeah, we're hoping to use this energy tonight and roll it over to tomorrow", Travis said. "I didn't think that it was going to go out, but then for a second I thought it was going to be foul too".

"But in the end I got to tell (Souza), 'Hey, you really did crush that ball".

"If they had a choice, they probably don't want to play us in September", Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi said.

Cooler heads soon prevailed, and Souza sorted things out with Martin before everyone left the field.

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Joaquin Benoit had a scoreless inning of relief in the seventh and Jason Grilli had a scoreless inning of relief in the eighth allowing the Blue Jays batters to come back in the bottom of the eighth.

Boxberger said he was surprised Carrera's ball ended up a home run. "It was down and away, good pitch".

Carrera's game-winning blast off Boxberger (3-1) was the second pinch-hit homer of his career.

Reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson, who's now mired in a career-worst 0-for-23 slump, was not in the starting lineup.

It was the third time this season that the Rays hit back-to-back homers. Rays 1B Logan Morrison (left wrist) was injured while swinging at a pitch in the fourth inning Sunday at Yankee Stadium and will return to St. Petersburg, Fla., on Wednesday to be checked by a hand specialist.

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NOTES: Toronto 3B Josh Donaldson, who went 0-for-23 in his previous seven games, did not play Monday.