TORONTO—The Toronto Blue Jays didn't wait long to respond after Joe Smith blew his first save of the season last night.
Tampa Bay scored three runs off the Toronto reliever to tie the game in the eighth inning.
But Russell Martin then led off the bottom half of the frame with a tie-breaking solo shot to help the Jays to a 7-6 victory.
“I felt like I picked him up right there and I felt like the team at that moment needed that,” Martin said.
“So it was just a nice bounce-back win," he added. ”A collective win.
“I feel like we kind of battled that one out.”
The Rays led 3-1 after four innings but Kendrys Morales capped Toronto's four-run fifth inning with a three-run homer.
Francisco Liriano struck out nine over seven innings, allowing two earned runs and five hits.
Smith (3-0) got the win with one inning of work while Roberto Osuna closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save.
The victory came after Tampa Bay had dumped Toronto 8-1 a night earlier.
The split of the two-game mini-series again left the Jays (32-33) one win away from the .500 mark.
“Good ballgame, especially after that egg we laid last night [Tuesday],” said manager John Gibbons.
Martin belted an 0-1 pitch from reliever Jose Alvarado (0-1) for his sixth homer of the season.
Logan Morrison hit a two-run shot for the Rays in the eighth.
It was just the second loss in eight games for Tampa Bay (35-33).
Before the game, the Jays placed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera on the 10-day disabled list with a right foot fracture.
Triple-A call-up Dwight Smith Jr. got the start in left field and had three of Toronto's 10 hits.
Liriano, meanwhile, worked past the sixth inning for just the second time this season.
“Shoot, he was dynamite,” Gibbons said.
The veteran southpaw did well to escape in the fourth inning after loading the bases with nobody out.
Taylor Featherston drove in Mallex Smith with a sacrifice fly before Liriano fanned Peter Bourjos to limit the damage.
The Jays chased Rays' starter Jake Odorizzi in the fifth.
Ryan Goins led off with a single, then moved to third when Featherston couldn't corral a Kevin Pillar grounder at second base.
Jose Bautista drove in Goins with a single before Morales put Toronto ahead with his 13th homer of the season.
The Jays tacked on another run in the sixth thanks in part to some poor Tampa defence.
After Martin singled, Smith Jr. hit a pop-up that the Tampa players couldn't track in the evening sky.
Goins moved the runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt and Martin scored on a wild pitch.
In the eighth, Smith gave up a single to Evan Longoria before Morrison tagged his 19th homer of the season.
Steven Souza Jr. walked, moved to third on a pinch-hit single by Colby Rasmus, and tied the game when Derek Norris hit a sacrifice fly.
The Jays are off today before kicking off a three-game series against the visiting Chicago White Sox tomorrow.
Elsewhere in the AL, Seattle beat Minnesota 6-4, Arizona edged Detroit 2-1, Baltimore downed Chicago 10-6, Houston bombed Texas 13-2, and L.A. topped New York 7-5.