Toronto-Tampa Bay: Jays Can't Hit in the Clutch, Lose to Rays in 13

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Toronto-Tampa Bay: Jays Can't Hit in the Clutch, Lose to Rays in 13

Failure to hit with men in scoring position cost the Toronto Blue Jays a victory at Rogers Centre on Thursday. 

In the rubber match with Tampa Bay, the Jays were unable to plate outfielder Alex Rios, who led off the 10th inning with a triple, and fell 8-3 in 13 innings to the Rays.

Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro capped a five-run 13th inning with a grand slam homer off Toronto relief pitcher Shawn Camp to seal the victory.  Earlier in the inning, designated hitter Carl Crawford hit a sacrifice fly to give the Rays a 4-3 lead.

Navarro went 3-for-6 on the night, drove in four, scored twice and raised his season batting average to a lofty .368.

Jay Howell pitched three innings of relief, allowing only two hits and striking out three to improve to (1-0).  Camp, whose ERA ballooned to 6.75 after giving up the slam, took the loss to drop to (0-1).

Toronto hurler Jesse Litsch gave the Blue Jays a quality start, despite surrendering two home runs on the night—a two-run shot to Gabe Gross in the fifth and a solo shot to Carlos Pena in the seventh. 

Litsch allowed just five hits in seven innings of work.

The Blue Jays rallied in the bottom in the ninth off  Rays' closer Troy Percival with three runs to send the game to extra innings.

Vernon Wells smacked a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 3-2.  Lyle Overbay followed with a double.  Aaron Hill then singled home Joe Inglett, who had pinch ran for Overbay, with the tying run.

After Hill stole second with two outs, Marco Scutaro was caught looking at strike three to end the inning.

Yet another missed opportunity from the Jays woeful offense.

With the loss, Toronto fell to 17-19 on the season.  They finished the home stand 5-2, including a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Soxs.  The Rays, meanwhile, improved to 18-16. 

The Blue Jays now head out on a 10-game road trip, with stops in Cleveland and Minnesota. Then, travel to Philadelphia to tangle with the Phillies as interleague play is set to begin around the major leagues.

 

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