TORONTO (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays dropped into a tie with Texas for the second AL wild-card berth, losing to Toronto 7-2 Saturday as Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar hit two-run home runs for the Blue Jays and J.A. Happ won for the first time in four starts.
The Rays (90-71) lost their second straight following a seven-game winning streak and dropped a half-game behind Cleveland (90-70), which was playing at Minnesota. The regular season is slated to end Sunday.
Adam Lind had two hits and three RBIs and Brett Lawrie reached base four times as the Blue Jays continued to make life tough for the Rays, who start left-hander Matt Moore (16-4) in Sunday’s series finale against Blue Jays rookie right-hander Todd Redmond (4-2).
Rays starter Chris Archer lasted just 2 1-3 innings, allowing one run and five hits. He is 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA in hisd last six starts.
Happ (5-7) pitched a season-high 7 1-3 innings, allowing one run and five hits to win for the first time since Sept. 7 at Minnesota.
Tampa Bay took the first lead for the second straight game when Ben Zobrist doubled leading off and scored when Wil Myers singled off the glove of Lawrie at third.
Adam Lind’s RBI single tied it in the third as the Blue Jays started the inning with three straight singles off Archer, who left after striking out Sierra. Alex Torres (4-2) came on and stranded runners at second and third.
Lind made it 3-1 with a two-out, two-run single down the third base line off Torres in the fourth, and the Blue Jays pulled away with a four-run fifth.
Anthony Gose led off with a single and scored when Goins homered off Jamey Wright. Ryan Langerhans singled and, one out later, Pillar homered off Brandon Gomes.
Aaron Loup came on after pinch-hitter Tim Beckham singled in the eighth and needed just five pitches to finish the inning.
Dustin McGowan gave up Delmon Young’s RBI grounder in the ninth as the Blue Jays evened their home record at 40-40.
NOTES: Lawrie went 2 for 3 and walked twice. … Lind returned to the lineup at DH after missing two games with a sore back. He was replaced by pinch-hitter Munenori Kawasaki in the fifth. … Rays SS Yunel Escobar (left ankle) started for the first time since Tuesday. … Blue Jays assistant GM Jay Sartori is leaving the team next month for a job with Apple Inc.Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.