The last time Don Wakamatsu could claim victory as a major-league manager, the next day he was fired by the Mariners, Aug. 9, 2010. That was then. The Jays' current bench coach is happily removed from that unpleasantness, clearly able to savour the 7-3 win over the Rays on Monday, his first victory as interim manager replacing pneumonia-stricken bench boss John Farrell. Wakamatsu had lost three straight to the Rays, searching for a stopper in his rotation.

"I hope it helps John sleep at night," Wakamatsu said. "That was our biggest thing. We talked about it as a club a little bit. Getting one for him. Getting back on the horse a little bit and having a good flight into Baltimore."

The Jays had been in danger of losing a four-game series to the Rays for the first time in club history. The last time they had been swept four games in a series was by the Indians in 2010. To avoid that same fate, they were leaning on left-hander Ricky Romero to make sure history did not repeat itself.

Two things Wakamatsu was looking for from his ace were to go deep into the game in order to aid and abet a ragged Jays bullpen and, of course, to lead his team to victory. It wasn't easy, but Romero got it done. He struggled early, throwing 48 pitches through two innings, half of them balls. But, after falling behind 2-0 on a two-run blast by Johnny Damon seven pitches into the contest, Romero got it back together and survived six grinding innings. But it was left to the bullpen again.