ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Dioner Navarro is becoming a bonus offensive threat for the Toronto Blue Jays. Facing his former team is helping immensely, although he said it is no incentive.
For the second consecutive night, Navarro belted a two-run homer, finishing 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two walks as the Blue Jays downed Tampa Bay 7-4.
On Tuesday as a pinch hitter, Navarro hit his 11th homer of the season, sending a pitch from Cesar Ramos into the left-field stands as a right-handed hitter, blowing open an eventual 8-2 win.
On Wednesday, batting from the other side against right-hander Chris Archer, Navarro lined a two-run shot into the right-field bleachers for a 2-0 Toronto lead.
"When I help my team, that's what matters," he said. "It can be against the Rays. It can be against Houston."
Though he has hit four homers this season against the Rays -- with whom he played from 2006 to 2010 -- his recent performance is a continuation of a strong two-month run. In his last 63 games, Navarro has nine homers and 37 RBIs and is batting .330 with runners in scoring position, second-best among Jays.
"We've got 20-something games left and we have to keep grinding," Navarro said. "I'm glad to contribute."
Power has been a late development in Navarro's career. He had never hit more than nine home runs in a season before belting 13 with the Cubs -- nine at Wrigley Field -- in just 89 games last season. With 24 games in the season he seemingly stands a good chance of breaking that mark, albeit in markedly better playing time. Navarro played in his 121st game on Wednesday.