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Rays Can't Finish Rally, Fall To Jays

After a contest Tuesday that saw the bats come through in situations, the Tampa Bay Rays saw the middle of the order not come through Wednesday night, as the Rays failed in two key situations with runners in scoring position to get the tying or go-ahead run home, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Wednesday at Rogers Centre.

With the game scoreless in the third, Tampa Bay was able to get runners to second and third base off Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman thanks to a two-out single by Brad Miller and a double from Lucas Duda, but Evan Longoria lined to right field to strand both runners in scoring position.

Toronto immediately turned around and scored the first run of the game off Jake Faria, as catcher Raffy Lopez walked with one out, and Bautista's double went over the head of Mallex Smith in right-center, allowing the Jays catcher to score all the way from first base.

Steve Pearce stretched the lead to 2-0 an inning later, leading off the fourth with his 12th home run of the year.

The Rays finally got on the board in the fifth, as Mallex Smith doubled to start the inning, then took third on a groundout by Jesus Sucre and scored on a groundout off the bat of Brad Miller.

Faria (5-4) exited after allowing a leadoff double to Pearce and a groundout by Kevin Pillar, but Dan Jennings allowed the inherited run to score on a single by Ryan Goins for a 3-1 game.

Tampa Bay's biggest opportunity came in the seventh, as the Rays loaded the bases against Stroman before Ryan Loup walked pinch-hitter Steven Souza Jr. to force in a run to make it 3-2.  But Dominic Leone struck out Evan Longoria looking on a ntroversial full-count pitch, and Logan Morrison popped out to end the threat.

Ryan Tepera worked a scoreless eighth, and Roberto Osuna worked around a leadoff single to notch his 31st save of the year.

The loss drops Tampa Bay back to two games under .500 at 60-62.

Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84 ERA) will look to salvage a split of the series in Thursday's finale, taking on Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 4:07, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 3:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.

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