TORONTO (Ticker) --
's season is over. His career with the
Toronto Blue Jays
may be as well.
Escobar matched a season high with 10 strikeouts in seven innings and
hit a key two-run double as the
posted a 5-3 victory over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Escobar has spent his first seven seasons with Toronto and has emerged into a solid starter after jumping back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation for six years. He is a free agent after this season and is not likely to return to Toronto.
"It was an emotional start because I don't know what is going to happen," he said. "I have some great memories here in Toronto. They know I want to be here. I love it here and I want to be part of the team."
The hard-throwing righthander had the best overall season of his career, setting career highs in innings and strikeouts. He fell one win shy of matching his career high of 14 set in 1999, when he made 30 starts.
Escobar (13-9) gave up two runs and eight hits and overcame five walks en route to his third straight victory. He began the season in the bullpen but overcame a shaky start to win eight of 11 decisions after the All-Star break.
"I'm very happy to finish the season strong and healthy," said Escobar, who threw 133 pitches. "It was great of (manager Carlos Tosca) to let me go into the seventh inning. I know I had thrown a lot of pitches but I felt strong."
Tampa Bay had a 2-1 lead when
(3-2) surrendered Phelps' double with two out in the sixth inning. Toronto added two more runs in the seventh, when reliever
uncorked a wild pitch on a bases-loaded walk to
walked twice and scored but had his team rookie-record 20-game hitting streak snapped.
"I really wasn't thinking about the streak," he said. "I was very aggressive at the plate and I kept the same approach, so I'm pretty happy with myself."
belted his 33rd homer for the
, moving within one of the franchise record set by
in 1999. His 104 RBI are two shy of the team mark set in 1996 by
homered for the third time in as many games off Escobar in the first inning to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.
"I'm just swinging the bat and fortunately they've been going out," Lugo said. "I'm not trying to hit them out, but they are going out."
Waechter retired 10 straight batters before walking Johnson to start the bottom half. He walked
with two out and Phelps doubled to the center field wall to plate both runners.
Waechter walked Bordick to begin the seventh and left after
"Things didn't go my way toward the end," Waechter said. "I was leaving a few balls up, but I feel I ended the year on a strong note."
entered and intentionally walked Johnson with one out to load the bases.
Kennedy retired pinch hitter
before facing Wells. Kennedy walked Wells and ball four went to the backstop, allowing Hudson to score from second as catcher
could not find the ball.
Johnson tried to score from first but was caught after Kennedy recovered and threw to Hall.