September 14, 2014
Tampa Bay Rays Yunel Escobar taunts fans after hitting a solo home run during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn

TORONTO (AP) Yunel Escobar didn't much like being booed when he first came back to Toronto as a visiting player last season. He gave the fans even more reason to sound off Sunday.

Escobar riled up the crowd with an exaggerated display after a towering home run, Sean Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Blue Jays 6-5 Sunday.

A frequent target of boos in Toronto after being suspended by the Blue Jays for writing an anti-gay slur on his eye-black in 2012, Escobar homered off the facing of the fourth deck against Todd Redmond in the eighth.

Escobar drew more jeers by facing the crowd and making an elaborate safe sign as he crossed home plate.

''It's part of the show,'' Escobar said through a translator. ''I was glad I hit the home run. I have a lot of fun now, coming here to play. I enjoy doing what I do and hopefully they do.''

Escobar homered for the third time in four games. He also doubled, singled and walked.

Ben Zobrist homered as Tampa Bay took two of three from the Blue Jays, dealing them a blow in their chase for an AL wild-card berth. Toronto came in four games out of a playoff spot.

''At this time of year, considering where we're at, it's especially tough,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Toronto pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. connected for a tying, solo home run with two outs in the ninth off Jake McGee. It was the seventh career pinch-hit homer for Mayberry and his fourth this season.

''I definitely missed my spot,'' McGee said. ''I was trying to go more up and in.''

McGee (5-2) blew a save for the fourth time this year, but wound up with the win. Brandon Gomes got two outs in the 10th and Jeff Beliveau finished for his first major league save.

Brandon Morrow (1-3) walked Wil Myers to begin the 10th. After Logan Forsythe singled, reliever Brett Cecil walked Escobar to load the bases for Rodriguez.

Edwin Encarnacion hit his 32nd homer, a solo shot off Rays starter Chris Archer in the seventh. Adam Lind added a three-run drive off Grant Balfour in the eighth.

Kevin Kiermaier opened the scoring with an RBI grounder off Mark Buehrle in the third and Zobrist followed with his 10th homer. The Rays have homered in seven straight games, matching a season-high.

The Rays doubled their lead in the fourth. Evan Longoria led off with a single and Myers was credited with a double when right fielder Jose Bautista lost his fly ball in the sun.

''The sun was our buddy today,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Longoria scored on Forsythe's groundout and, two batters later, Ryan Hanigan hit an RBI single.


A young fan in the front row reached out in front of Bautista and caught Forsythe's foul fly ball in the eighth. First base umpire Hal Gibson didn't call interference, but Forsythe was called out on video review when Gibbons challenged.


The Rays plan to bring up RHP Alex Colome, INF Nick Franklin and LHP C.J. Riefenhauser from Triple-A before Monday's home game against the Yankees.


Rays: Tampa Bay returns home Monday to begin a three-game series against the New York Yankees, with Colome (1-0) facing LHP Chris Capuano (1-2). Colome will be making his fifth major league start, and his second against the Yankees.

Blue Jays: Toronto opens a three-game series against the AL East-leading Orioles in Baltimore Monday, with RHP Marcus Stroman (10-5) facing Baltimore LHP Wei-Yin Chen (15-4). Stroman was pushed back a day for extra rest and, coupled with Thursday's off day, will be pitching for the first time since Sept. 8. It's his first career start against the Orioles.

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