TORONTO (AP)—After a rough start to his season, Aaron Hill is finishing the year on a tear.
Hill has raised his average from .197 on May 17 to .290.
“That was the toughest part of my career so far. Hopefully, it doesn’t get much tougher because I was really going through some stuff the first couple of months,” Hill said. “I stuck with it and worked hard. Eventually, things started falling for me.”
With the game tied 3-3 and two outs in the eighth, Hill hit a two-run shot off Shawn Camp (7-4). It was Hill’s sixth homer. He also gave the Blue Jays the win Friday night with a 10th inning shot.
Hill is hitting .378 over his last 10 games.
He was looking for a slider from Camp and got it.
“I guess I was lucky,” he said.
Toronto manager John Gibbons said Hill deserves credit because he’s had to adjust to playing both second and shortstop this season. Hill said he’s more comfortable at second base and would eventually like to stick to one position.
“That’s not easy to do. He’s still trying to establish himself at this level to begin with,” Gibbons said.
Bengie Molina homered and had three hits for the Blue Jays, who have won four straight.
Delmon Young homered for the Devil Rays, who have lost seven straight and all six games of their road trip.
Tampa Bay is 19-56 on the road, 38-38 at home.
“We’re like two different teams. We’re so Jekyll and Hyde it’s incredible,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s going to be food for offseason though, to try and prevent that next year.”
Young went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. The highly touted rookie is hitting .400.
Molina tied it at 1 with an RBI double in the second.
Young’s homer gave the Devil Rays back the lead in the top of the third before Vernon Wells’ sacrifice fly to right tied it. Reed Johnson just beat the catcher Shawn Riggans’ tag after Young made a terrific throw.
Young singled in the sixth, advanced to second on Ty Wigginton’s walk and scored on Greg Norton’s RBI single.
Molina hit his career-high 16th homer, a solo shot off Brian Stokes in sixth.
Young has hit safely in 16 of his 18 starts, including 10 multihit games. … Toronto’s Adam Lind hit a ball off the wall in right in the eighth, but shortstop Ben Zobrist made a quick relay throw to get a sliding Lind at third. … Tampa Bay reliever Jon Switzer was hit on the left forearm by a liner in the eighth. He stayed in the game. On Saturday, Tampa Bay’s Edwin Jackson left the game after being hit on the back of the head by a liner. A Blue Jays doctor examined him and said he’s OK.