"That was a huge hit off a very good pitcher," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Kiermaier has been doing extra work lately to try to improve his plate discipline and the extra work paid rich dividends by helping the Rays claim the three-game series.
"Left one over the plate, I put a good swing on it and it had enough backspin on it to where it got out," Kiermaier said. "It's been an inconsistent kind of season for me and I wanted to step up big right there for the team."
Kiermaier's blast came on the heels of Brad Boxberger allowing a run in the ninth, tagging him with his first blown save of the season and sending the game to extra innings.
All night long the Rays' pitching experienced a bumpy ride, bending, but not quite breaking. Nate Karns started and allowed four runs in five innings -- including two home runs. Nevertheless, he appeared headed for his fourth win of the season when the offense bailed him out in the sixth.
"We're down 4-0 against a guy whose throwing the ball well and we put up a five-spot and change the game right there," Cash said. "That's what they do. Good group of guys."
The five runs in the sixth ining were the second highest total for the Rays in an inning this season.
The pitching has "had our back all year," Souza said. "They're allowed not to be perfect all year. ... To get behind them and get them out of there without the decision being a loss was huge for us."
The pitching and offense finally found harmony when Xavier Cedeno and Steve Geltz got the final three outs in the 10th, with Geltz earning his second save of the season.
"In the sixth inning, our offense got going," Karns said. "So you've got Joey's two-run followed by Souza's three-run. Then we did it like we've been doing it all year, piecing it together with the bullpen one inning after another. ... It's just a really solid team win today."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.