|Missed opportunities cost Jays in loss to Rays|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 16 August 2013 18:49|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - A missed opportunity in the ninth cost the Toronto Blue Jays later in the inning.
Jose Lobaton hit a game-ending triple with one out in the bottom of the ninth, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to their third straight victory, 5-4 over the Blue Jays on Friday night.
Lobaton's triple came off Aaron Loup (4-6) after Yunel Escobar walked. Lobaton had three hits.
Fernando Rodney (5-3) gave up two hits to start the ninth but worked out of the jam.
``We had the lead,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. ``We gave it up. Had plenty of opportunities. Couldn't get it done. That's why they're at the top and we're at the bottom. It's pretty simple.''
Tampa Bay leads the AL wild-card race and is one game behind East-leading Boston. The Blue Jays are last in the division, 15 back of the Red Sox.
``It's tough,'' Loup said. ``We play a lot of close games like this. There's games where we get a chance and crawl back into the game, and we seem to let down. We can't make that hump. We're playing good ball, but just not really catching the breaks.''
Toronto, which fell to 15-20 in one-run games, went 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.
The Blue Jays had tied it in the eighth when, with runners on second and third and one out, Anthony Gose hit a grounder to shortstop. Escobar's throw was off line to home plate and Brett Lawrie scored.
In his fifth start this season against Tampa Bay, R.A. Dickey gave up six hits and four runs over seven innings. He had pitched a two-hit shutout here on June 26.
``Sometimes it's just the nature of the game,'' Dickey said. ``Sometimes it's just a situation where we've got to take ownership when we don't do well and try to get better next time. Tonight for me was tough because I had a good knuckleball. This is a good place for me. It's not often you give up eight baserunners and four of them score. A very bizarre night. We should have won that game in regulation.''
Maicer Izturis scored for the Blue Jays after being hit on the foot by a pitch from Jeremy Hellickson pitch in the first inning. Adam Lind drove him in with a two-out single.
The Rays tied it in the third after Escobar led off with a triple, the first hit off Dickey. Lobaton followed with an RBI single.
Edward Encarnacio and Gose drove in runs against Hellickson in the fifth and sixth to put Toronto up, 3-1. Playing in his first game since being recalled up from Triple-A Buffalo, Gose bounced a two-out single up the middle after a triple by Josh Thole.
Matt Joyce finished an 11-pitch at bat with a home run off Dickey in the sixth, making it 3-2. It was Joyce's first home run since June 15, ending a career-long span of 43 homerless games.
Escobar and Sam Fuld drove in runs to lift the Rays to a 4-3 lead in the seventh.
Hellickson pitched six innings, giving up nine hits and three earned runs.
After a seven-game stretch in which he went 6-0, Hellickson is 0-3 in his last four starts with an earned run average of 8.00.
Izturis had three of Toronto's 13 hits. The Blue Jays led off each of the last three innings with hits.
NOTES: Toronto has lost 19 of its last 26 games at Tampa Bay. ... The Blue Jays activated LHP J.A. Happ from the bereavement list and placed INF Munenori Kawasaki on the paternity list. Happ, Saturday night's scheduled starter, was hit in the head by Desmond Jennings' drive on May 7, and will be pitching for the first time at Tropicana Field since getting hurt. ... Toronto RHP Steve Delabar (shoulder) resumed playing catch.