Rays 12, Blue Jays 1: Ben Zobrist and Jose Molina homered in support of James Shields, who tossed seven shutout innings to help Tampa Bay rout visiting Toronto in the opener of a three-game series.
Luke Scott laced a pair of two-run doubles and Carlos Pena added a two-run triple for the Rays, who kept pace in the American League wild-card race. Tampa Bay pulled within 4 1/2 games of Oakland for the second wild-card spot after the Athletics dropped a 2-1 decision in 10 innings to the New York Yankees on Friday.
Shields (15-9) struck out nine and walked one, allowing six hits. He was staked to an early lead thanks to Zobrist's two-out homer in the first and a four-run second, which was capped by Molina's career-best seventh home run.
The Rays rocked starter Carlos Villanueva (7-6) for seven runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Tampa Bay has won 12 of 16 meetings this season, including six straight at Tropicana Field.
GAME NOTEBOOK: With Shields' third strikeout of the game, the Rays broke the 2001 Yankees' American League record for strikeouts in a season. The previous record was 1,266. The 2003 Cubs hold the major-league mark with 1,404. … Shields has 202 strikeouts, making him the first player in Rays' history with back-to-back seasons of 200 or more. … Blue Jays SS Yunel Escobar was held out of the lineup despite being eligible to return from his three-game suspension for having a homophobic slur written in his eye black during Sunday's game.