The Tampa Bay Rays pulled out their second straight eighth-inning comeback to win 5-3 and split the season opening series with the Toronto Blue Jays. Steven Souza Jr. hit two home runs, including the go ahead three-run homer in the eighth. Erasmo Ramirez allowed only one hit over the final two innings to pick up the win.
Tampa Bay Rays Manager Kevin Cash says this was an exciting win, Souza had some big hits, any time you drop the first two and come back it feels pretty good.
At the top of the third, Josh Donaldson hit a three-run home run off Matt Moore to give the Blue Jays an early 3-0 lead. The reining AL MVP left the game after an at bat in the seventh-inning with a strained calf and is now listed day-to-day.
Moore pitched five-innings gave up three runs, five hits, two walks and had six strikeouts. Cash says Moore’s pitch count was driven up because it seems that he was pitching from behind a lot, but that is a testament for how good his stuff was.
Tampa Bay pulled within one to make the score 3-2 in the sixth after a solo home run from Souza. The rays have now had a home-run in 18 consecutive. Souza’s fourth hit of the game, tying his career high, was the three run game wining home run to centerfield.
The Rays pitchers struck out 46 batters while splitting the opening series 2-2 with the Blue Jays.
Next up, the Rays will travel to Baltimore Friday to take on the Orioles at 7:05 p.m. Chris Archer will start the three-game series and face Chris Tillman.