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Jays Batter Pruitt To Even Series With Rays

ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- Austin Pruitt probably wishes he stayed in bed, but it was a late homer off reliever Tommy Hunter that proved to be the difference Wednesday.

The Rays starter allowed four home runs in the first two innings and failed to get out of the fourth, but the Tampa Bay Rays rallied from down 5-0 before falling 7-6 at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, evening this three game series at one win apiece.

Pruitt fell down 2-0 in the top of the first, as Josh Donaldson followed up a leadoff double by Steve Pearce by blasting his 22nd home run of the year into the seats in left center.

The right-hander's evening continued to be painful an inning later, as Ryan Goins made it 3-0 with his sixth home run of the year, and Raffy Lopez and Pearce went back-to-back with solo shots later in the inning, with the former's homer being his first in the big leagues.

The Rays started to rally in the bottom of the third, as Wilson Ramos reached on an infield single, but was erased two batters later on a fielder's choice grounder by Adeiny Hechaverria.  Kevin Kiermaier picked his teammates up though, taking a Marcus Stroman offering and sending it over the wall in center for his ninth home run of the season.

Steven Souza Jr. cut the deficit to 5-3 an inning later with his 27th homer of the year, also off Stroman.

Chase Whitley, who took over for Pruitt in the fourth, gave up a solo shot to Justin Smoak in the fifth that made it a 6-3 game, but Kiermaier responded with his second home run of the night and tenth of the year in the bottom of the fifth.

Brad Miller's RBI single in the sixth cut the deficit to a single run, and an infield single by Evan Longoria in the bottom of the seventh brought Tampa Bay back even.

Hunter came on for the eighth in relief of Andrew Kittredge, but hung a curveball to Kevin Pillar, and as hard as the hitters worked to get back even, Toronto would not relinquish the lead again.

Aaron Loup worked a scoreless eighth and Roberto Osuna's perfect ninth earned him his 33rd save of the year.

The loss drops Tampa Bay back to four games under .500 at 62-66.

Tampa Bay can still manage a series win and a .500 homestand with a win in Thursday afternoon's finale as Alex Cobb (9-8, 3.80 ERA) takes on Tom Koehler (1-5, 7.92 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 1:10, with coverage on WDAE starting at noon with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.

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