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Error in 9th hands Rays win

September 11, 2010
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

TORONTO (AP) - Evan Longoria scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by shortstop Yunel Escobar in the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-8 Friday night after blowing a seven-run lead.

B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist hit solo homers for the Rays, who won for just the second time in six games.

Tampa Bay led 8-1 in the fourth before the Blue Jays rallied. Jose Bautista's second homer of the game, a two-run shot in the seventh, tied it at 8.

The Rays won it with an unearned run in the ninth against Toronto closer Kevin Gregg (1-5). After back-to-back walks to Longoria and Carlos Pena, Sean Rodriguez hit a grounder to first. Lyle Overbay threw to second to force Pena, but Escobar's return throw sailed wide, allowing Longoria to score.

Joaquin Benoit (1-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win and Rafael Soriano struck out the side in the ninth for his 42nd save in 44 chances.

Soriano has converted 19 consecutive save opportunities, matching Roberto Hernandez's club record, set in 1999.

Bautista hit his major league-leading 45th and 46th home runs but Toronto still lost its third straight. It was Bautista's seventh multihomer game of the season and the ninth of his career.

Adam Lind and John Buck also connected for the Blue Jays, who lead the majors with 222 home runs, including an ML-high 126 at home.

The 222 homers is the second most in Blue Jays history, surpassing the 221 by the 1998 team. Toronto hit 244 homers in 2000.

The Rays scored six runs in a bat-around first against Toronto left-hander Brett Cecil, who came in 8-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 11 starts against AL East opponents.



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