Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Rookies Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar hit two-run homers each as the Toronto Blue Jays played the spoiler’s role anew as they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 7-2, Saturday at Rogers Centre.
The Rays entered the three-game set with a two-game lead over Texas but are now tied with the Rangers for the second American League Wild Card spot heading into the final game of the year following two straight losses to the Jays.
J.A. Happ tossed a season-high 7 1/3 strong innings, allowing just one run on four hits to improve to 5-7 as the Jays go for a series sweep in a dramatic Sunday game.
Cleveland, which entered Saturday tied with Tampa Bay, can take a full game lead into Sunday with a win against the Minnesota Twins.
An Indians loss would make for a three-way tie, which could result to several scenarios heading into Sunday’s final day of the regular season.
Alex Torres (4-2) absorbed the loss after allowing two singles in the fourth that ultimately led to two runs behind Adam Lind’s single. Starter Chris Archer lasted just 2 1/3 frames, giving up one run on five hits with four strikeouts.
The only blemish for Happ came in the first when he surrendered a leadoff double to Ben Zobrist before the Rays took a 1-0 lead two batters later with an RBI single from Will Myers.
However, Lind had a pair of singles in the third and fourth innings that drove in three runs before Toronto pulled away in the fifth behind two-run shots by Goins and Pillar for a 7-1 lead.
Happ finished the season with a 4.56 ERA in 18 starts, but his 2013 campaign will likely be remembered mostly for the three months he had to miss after being struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings on May 7.
The Blue Jays will send right-hander Todd Redmond (4-2) to the mound for the final showdown against left-hander Matt Moore (16-4).