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Late HR Means Rays Can Only Manage Split With Jays

The Tampa Bay Rays rallied from a three-run eighth-inning deficit, but Russell Martin's homer off Jose Alvarado broke a 6-6 tie, as the Tampa Bay Rays dropped the finale to the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 Wednesday at Rogers Centre.

After Tampa Bay got a two-run homer by Logan Morrison, his 19th homer of the year, and sacrifice fly from Derek Norris, both off Joe Smith, manager Kevin cash brought on Jose Alvarado to try and get through the bottom of the eighth, but Martin led off the inning by taking a pitch out to left-centerfield and into the bullpens for his sixth home run of the year.

The Rays started the scoring in the third inning, as Taylor Featherston reached with one out on a throwing error by Ryan Goins, moving to to second on an infield hit by Peter Bourjos.  Corey Dickerson then tripled into the right-centerfield gap, plating both runners for a 2-0 advantage.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi, who struggled all evening, then gave one run back as he walked Kevin Pillar, who stole second and took third on a throwing error by Norris, and scored when Kendrys Morales beat out the back end of a potential double play.

Tampa Bay loaded the bases on Francisco Liriano in the fourth with one out, but could manage just one run, on a sacrifice fly by Liriano, to get back to 3-1.

The Blue Jays chased Odorizzi in the fifth as Jose Bautista singled in Goins to make it 3-2 and Morales followed with a three-run homer, his 13th of the year to give Toronto their first lead at 5-3.

Chase Whitley finished the fifth, but then allowed a run in the sixth on a wild pitch that allowed Martin, who singled to start the inning, to score and make it 6-3.

After Martin's home run in the eighth, Roberto Osuna came in and worked a perfect ninth inning to record his 17th save and seal off the split.

The loss drops Tampa Bay back to two games above .500 at 35-33.

The Rays next travel to Detroit to begin a four-game series with the Tigers.  Alex Cobb (5-5, 4.29 ERA) will get the start in the opener, taking on Justin Verlander (4-4, 4.68 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with coverage on WDAE starting at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.

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