Rays 9, Blue Jays 4: Ben Francisco and Carlos Pena hit home runs and David Price pitched 6 2/3 innings for his American League-best 17th win as Tampa Bay salvaged a split of the four-game series in Toronto.
Leadoff man Desmond Jennings had three hits and scored two runs for the Rays, who moved within 3.5 games of the New York Yankees in the AL East and remained 1.5 games back of Baltimore for the last wild-card spot in the AL. The Orioles beat the Yankees 8-3 on Sunday.
The Rays battered Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero, who didn't even record an out in the second inning and was charged with seven runs on eight hits. Romero (8-13) has lost 12 straight decisions, one shy of the club record set by Tom Underwood in 1978-79.
Price (17-5) wasn't at his sharpest, issuing four walks and allowing six hits, but he kept the Blue Jays scoreless until the seventh. He was charged with two runs and struck out five.
Francisco and Pena led off consecutive innings with homers, as Francisco started the six-run second with his first long ball for Tampa Bay and Pena led off the third with his 17th blast. Ben Zobrist added a two-run single in the big second inning, and Francisco tacked on an RBI double in the fourth to make it 9-0.
Edwin Encarnacion's sacrifice fly got the Blue Jays on the board in the seventh, and Adam Lind followed with an RBI single later in the inning. Encarnacion added his 37th homer - a two-run shot - in the ninth and is one behind Adam Dunn for the major-league lead.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Tampa Bay's 18 hits are a season-high. … Romero's ERA jumped to 5.85, the worst in the majors among starters who qualify for the ERA title. … Price improved to 12-2 all-time against the Blue Jays. … Price has recorded quality starts in 13 of his last 14 outings. … The Rays begin a six-game home stand with three games against the Yankees starting Monday, while the Blue Jays host Baltimore for a three-game set.