Romero drops 12th straight; Jays fall to Rays
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Ben Francisco hit his first home run as a Ray and drove in two as Tampa Bay took a 9-4 win over Toronto to split a four-game series.
Francisco, who spent time with the Blue Jays earlier this season, was acquired from the Houston Astros on Aug. 31 in exchange for a player to be named later.
Ben Zobrist drove in two while Desmond Jennings was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Rays, who took the final two of this set after dropping the first two.
David Price (17-5) became the fourth 17-game winner in the majors as he gave up just two runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run home run and drove in three for the Blue Jays, who had won three straight prior to dropping the last two.
Ricky Romero (8-13) dropped his 12th straight decision as he got tagged for seven runs on eight hits in just one-plus inning of work.
The Rays pushed one across in the first when Jennings singled to leadoff and, after moving to second on a sacrifice and stealing third, came home on a Evan Longoria double, but the team blew the game open in the second.
Francisco led off the frame with his third home run of the season. Carlos Pena then walked and Ryan Roberts followed with a double. Consecutive singles from Jose Molina and Jennings each drove in a run. B.J. Upton then hit a high fly to right that Moises Sierra lost in the sun. Zobrist singled to bring home two, and Jeff Keppinger later grounded out to bring in another run for a 7-0 lead.
Pena led off the third with his 17th homer of the season and Francisco doubled in another run in the fourth for a 9-0 lead.
The Blue Jays got two in the seventh on a sac fly from Encarnacion and an RBI single by Adam Lind, while Encarnacion homered with Colby Rasmus on base in the ninth to account for the final score.
Tampa has won 11 of the 15 games against Toronto this season ... Romero hasn't won since beating Miami on June 22 ... Tampa hosts the Yankees for three games starting on Monday ... Toronto welcomes Baltimore for three games beginning on Monday ... Tampa left 12 men on base, but did hit 7-for-18 with runners in scoring position ... Toronto went 2-for-8 with RISP and stranded nine.