(Photo credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports)
George Springer's three-run inside-the-park homer in a five-run outburst headlined the Toronto Blue Jays' 9-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The right fielder also had an assist and saved a run with a diving catch in the third inning in a stellar offensive and defensive showing for the Blue Jays (87-69), who hit four home runs.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered twice and Bo Bichette went deep, while Trevor Richards (2-1) pitched one-hit ball over two scoreless frames.
Isaac Paredes was 2-for-4 with his 30th homer, a walk and three RBIs. Harold Ramirez went 3-for-5 and scored as the Rays (95-62) closed out their regular-season home schedule with a 53-28 record.
Batting .328 during a career season, All-Star Yandy Diaz went 1-for-2 with a run but left with right hamstring tightness. He initially pulled up following an infield single leading off the first.
In the first, Diaz and Ramirez singled to set the table. Then Paredes and Junior Caminero rapped run-scoring singles -- the latter's representing his first career RBI in his second game -- though Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi fanned the side.
Disaster struck in the second for Rays starter Taj Bradley (5-8), who went a career-high seven innings, starting with a two-out walk to Alejandro Kirk.
The next three batters produced hits, including Whit Merrifield with a two-run single, before Springer launched a deep drive just left of center.
The ball hit the wall beyond center fielder Manuel Margot's reach and caromed oddly along the warning track back toward right-center. Springer raced around and slid home head-first for his 21st homer and a 5-2 lead.
In the fourth, the Rays cut it to 5-3 on Taylor Walls' RBI single and threatened for more with two outs. But catcher Kirk took a pitch and threw behind Osleivis Basabe, who replaced Diaz, and picked off the young infielder.
Guerrero, who has been battling knee inflammation, made it 6-3 in the sixth when he ripped Bradley's 95 mph fastball 427 feet to center.
In the seventh, Paredes crushed a 427-foot, two-run homer to left-center off Yimi Garcia to make it a one-run game. The infielder boosted his RBI total to 95.
Daulton Varsho (double, triple) added an insurance three-bagger, his third, to score Matt Chapman in the eighth.
In the final frame, Bichette hit his 20th deep ball and Guerrero smoked his 26th.
--Field Level Media