Kendrys Morales had two late homers and drove in five runs, helping the Toronto Blue Jays rally from a three-run deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 on Friday night.
Morales hit a two-run shot during the seventh inning and completed his 18th career multihomer game with a three-run drive off Jumbo Diaz (0-2) in a five-run eighth that put Toronto ahead 8-4.
Justin Smoak added a solo homer in the decisive eighth and finished with two RBIs for Toronto, which avoided becoming the major league’s first 20-loss team (10-19). The Blue Jays got their sixth win in 17 road games this season.
Aaron Loup (1-0) limited the Rays to one run after Tampa Bay loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh.
Daniel Robertson and Derek Norris each homered for the Rays. Chris Archer struck out 11 in six-plus innings.
Toronto’s Francisco Liriano had his third consecutive subpar outing at Tropicana Field, allowing three runs, five hits, five walks and hitting a batter in 3 2/3 innings.
Liriano gave up five runs, three hits and four walks over 1/3 of an inning during a start here April 7, and all three Rays the lefty faced in a relief appearance last Sept. 2 reached base.
Robertson and Norris hit consecutive solo shots before Steven Souza Jr. made it 3-0 later in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk that ended Liriano’s night.
Souza, who entered 1 for 15 with eight strikeouts, walked in all three plate appearances against Liriano.
Smoak had an RBI single in the fifth and Morales tied it at 3 on his two-run shot off Archer in the seventh.
Morales had two hits in three at-bats against Archer and is 15 for 25 (.600) including three homers off the Rays ace. Morales has six homers overall this season.
Archer gave up three runs, four hits and walked one.
Kevin Pillar had an RBI double in the eighth. After Morales’ shot off Diaz, Smoak homered on the first pitch from Justin Marks, who was making his first appearance this season.
Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier was hit on the right hand by Liriano’s pitch during the fourth and left after the fifth. He was to get X-rays.
Blue Jays: Manager John Gibbons said RHP Marcus Stroman (right armpit tightness) will make his scheduled start Monday night against Cleveland.
Rays: SS Matt Duffy (left Achilles tendon surgery) had an intensive baserunning session.
Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada (1-1) and Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-1) are Saturday’s starters. Odorizzi will be making his second appearance since missing two starts due to a left hamstring strain.
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.