ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jose Lobaton came up big again for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Lobaton hit a walkoff solo home run in the 10th inning and the Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1, on Sunday.
Lobaton sent a 2-and-1 pitch from Brad Lincoln (1-2) with one out into the right-field seats. Lobaton had a game-ending triple in the ninth Friday.
“It’s different,” Lobaton said. “Walkoff triple, that was amazing. Walkoff homer, run the bases like that, is unbelievable. It’s something that you want to do all the time. Hopefully it’s not the last one.”
Lobaton’s parents were at the ballpark for both of his key hits.
“Seriously, that’s pretty cool for him,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “Very, very cool.”
The win, combined with the Red Sox’ loss to the Yankees, drew the Rays to within one game of Boston in the AL East. Tampa Bay took two of three from Toronto, which hasn’t won a series at Tropicana Field since April 2007.
Rays starter Chris Archer allowed one run and four hits over seven innings. Jake McGee (3-3) struck out one during a perfect 10th.
Blue Jays righthander Todd Redmond, a St. Petersburg native, gave up one run and six hits over six-plus innings in his first start at Tropicana Field.
“We wasted great pitching out there,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “If you’re going to play in prime time, you’ve got to win those games. We’ve had so many of them over the course of the season and we haven’t been able to win them.”
Evan Longoria put the Rays up, 1-0, in the first with his 24th homer, an opposite-field drive to right that resulted in a video review after a fan in the front row caught the ball just above the fence.
“One bad pitch to Longoria, one of the best-hitting third basemen in the game right now,” Redmond said. “You do that, and you pay the price. [The fan] probably reached over a little bit, but it was probably just far enough to where it didn’t matter.”
The Blue Jays tied it at 1 when Edwin Encarnacion connected for his 31st homer with two outs in the seventh.
He nearly put Toronto ahead in the ninth, but his two-out drive off Fernando Rodney hit off the top of the left-field wall and the slugger wound up with a double.
“Very, very lucky right there,” Maddon said.
Archer retired nine in a row before Anthony Gose started the fourth with a single. Gose stole second and went to third on Jose Bautista’s one-out fly ball, but was left stranded when Encarnacion flew out.
Gose was the only Toronto base runner until Encarnacion’s seventh-inning homer. After the home run, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie had consecutive singles before Mark DeRosa grounded out.
The Rays got a one-out double from Longoria in the fourth and Yunel Escobar hit a double to begin the fifth, but Redmond worked out of both jams without allowing a run. Redmond also got an inning-ending double play from Wil Myers with two on during the sixth.
Tampa Bay wasted a scoring chance in the seventh with no outs when pinch runner Sean Rodriguez was caught in a rundown between third and home after pinch hitter Jason Bourgeois failed to get a bunt down.