Jays sting Rays with late play to win
TORONTO (Reuters) - Catcher Jose Molina tagged out a scrambling Evan Longoria in the ninth inning to seal the Toronto Blue Jays' fourth straight win with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.
With Longoria on third base for the game-tying run, John Jaso grounded to shortstop Alex Gonzalez who fired home to Molina for the tag out, allowing closer Kevin Gregg to complete the inning for his 14th save of the year.
"That was a great play," said Toronto manager Cito Gaston. "(The Rays) keep coming. They keep battling. They believe in themselves."
Adam Lind hit a two-run homer in the first inning and the Blue Jays added a run in the fifth to take a 3-0 lead.
The Major League-leading Rays (34-18) clawed back two runs in the eighth, however, before Longoria's one-out triple sparked hopes of an unlikely comeback.
Starter Brandon Morrow enjoyed one of his best outings for the Blue Jays (31-22), allowing one run and three hits over seven innings.
Morrow exited in the eighth after allowing a lead-off single and B.J. Upton put Tampa Bay on the board with an RBI triple, followed by Willy Aybar's RBI groundout.
Matt Garza took the loss for the Rays, allowing 10 hits and three runs over six and a third innings.
The game was the opener of a six-game road trip for the Rays who have the best away record in the Major Leagues at 19-6.
Toronto have hit their way to third in the American League East, and lead the league in home runs.
Jose Bautista tops all hitters with 16 blasts, but was unable to grab a home run on Monday that would have given him 13 for the month and sole ownership of the franchise record.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom)