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Hernandez hits HR in 12th, Blue Jays rally past Rays 10-9

By IAN HARRISONJuly 28, 2019
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Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Teoscar Hernandez (37) is celebrated with a sports drink shower by teammates after his walk-off home run in 12th inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Saturday, July 27, 2019 in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press via AP)
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Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Teoscar Hernandez (37) is celebrated with a sports drink shower by teammates after his walk-off home run in 12th inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Saturday, July 27, 2019 in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — With his first extra-inning home run, Teoscar Hernandez capped off Toronto’s biggest comeback in more than four years.

Hernandez led off the 12th inning with a home run and the Blue Jays overcame a seven-run deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-9 on Saturday.

Toronto hadn’t overturned a deficit that big since erasing Boston’s 8-1 lead on June 12, 2015.

“We battled the whole game,” Hernandez said. “We didn’t put our heads down.”

Hernandez connected off Emilio Pagan (2-2) for his second solo homer of the game. He also went back-to-back with Brandon Drury in the eighth.

“Hernandez is a guy we feel like we can expand on,” Pagan said. “I went off the plate earlier in the at bat and he took it so I tried to bring it a little bit closer, get maybe a bad swing. Probably caught too much of the plate.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning and Drury tied it with a two-out, solo drive as the Blue Jays rallied from a 9-2 deficit.

For Hernandez, it was his fifth career multihomer game, while Drury’s was his first. Drury went 4 for 6, the sixth four-hit game of his career.

Daniel Hudson (6-2) worked one inning for the win.

After Avisail Garcia doubled in the sixth, five Blue Jays relievers combined to retire the final 21 Rays batters in order.

“They were great,” Drury said. “They got ahead of guys and all had really good tempo. I feel like it was really quick innings there. It was just three up, three down all the time. That’s good for our offense, too, to get some momentum going.”

Cavan Biggio added a solo home run as the Blue Jays snapped a five-game streak in which they’d failed to score more than three runs. They won for the second time in eight meetings with the Rays.

Toronto hit six home runs, its most since hitting six against the Rays on Aug. 23, 2017.

“It’s tough to win when you give up that amount of home runs,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Cash wasn’t interested in wondering whether his team had suffered a more difficult defeat this season.

“It’s a tough loss,” he said. “I’m not going to rank what they are but it’s certainly a tough loss.”

Pagan called it “super frustrating.”

“It’s terrible,” he said. “I think everybody in the bullpen would tell you that this is on us.”

Leading 9-5 to begin the ninth, Rays right-hander Oliver Drake allowed the first two batters to reach, then gave up Guerrero’s 10th homer.

Left-hander Adam Kolarek came on and struck out Biggio. Lefty Colin Poche replaced Kolarek and struck out Danny Jansen, but Drury hit a first-pitch homer to tie it at 9.

“I felt like I was making good pitches except for one,” Poche said. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Right-hander Andrew Kittredge started for the Rays and worked a season-high three innings, allowing two runs and five hits. It was Kittredge’s longest outing since a 3 1/3-inning stint against Boston on March 31, 2018.

Making his second start since returning from an elbow injury, Blue Jays lefty Ryan Borucki allowed six runs and eight hits in two innings. Borucki’s ERA rose from 3.86 to 10.80.

“My command has got to get better, everything has got to get better,” Borucki said. “It’s pretty self-explanatory.”

Travis d’Arnaud and Willy Adames each hit three-run home runs in a six-run second but the Rays couldn’t hold on.

D’Arnaud went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and scored twice. He has seven home runs and 21 RBIs in 17 games this month — both are Rays records by a catcher in any calendar month.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Garcia (illness) was removed after three innings. Joey Wendle came in to play second base and Mike Brosseau moved from second to right. ... INF Daniel Robertson (right knee) was set to continue his rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham on Saturday night by playing nine innings at shortstop. OF Kevin Kiermaier (left thumb) is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment by starting at DH for Class A Charlotte.

Blue Jays: Toronto put C Luke Maile (strained left oblique) on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to July 24, and recalled C Reese McGuire from Triple-A Buffalo. Maile was injured while swinging during pregame batting practice.

CALL IT A COMEBACK

This was the sixth time in team history the Blue Jays have overcome a seven-run deficit. Their biggest comeback was from 10-0 down at Boston on June 4, 1989. Toronto won that game 13-11 in 11 innings.

ROSTER MOVE

The Rays optioned C Michael Perez to Triple-A. A pitcher will come up Sunday.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Yonny Chirinos (8-2, 3.29) starts Sunday’s series finale. Chirinos pitched five shutout innings against the Blue Jays on May 27. That was an improvement on his first meeting with Toronto this season, when he allowed six runs in 2 1/3 innings of an 11-7 win on April 12.

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-14, 6.06) tries again to snap a streak of 13 consecutive losing decisions. Sanchez last won April 27 against Oakland.

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