Aaron Sanchez tied a season high with eight strikeouts, Aledmys Diaz hit his 17th home run as part of an early offensive explosion, and the Toronto Blue Jays avoided the sweep with a 10-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
Making his third start since coming off the disabled list Aug. 25, Sanchez gave up three earned runs on six hits against two walks in a 98-pitch, six-inning performance for his first win since June 3.
Diaz finished 2 for 4, adding a double, a walk and two runs scored for Toronto (63-76). Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Devon Travis each went 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored, while Billy McKinney added his fourth homer as the Jays pounded out 16 hits.
Sanchez (4-5) pitched just 36 innings over eight starts in 2017 due to a nagging blister after going 15-2 in a 2016 campaign that saw him lead the American League with a 3.00 earned-run average.
In two starts since returning from a freak injury suffered back in June where he got a finger on his pitching hand caught in a piece of luggage, Sanchez had an 11.88 earned-run average in a pair no decisions.
But after some early struggles Thursday, the big right-hander settled down for his first quality start since June 15, striking out eight batters for the fourth time in 2018.