Toronto, ON – Wil Myers drove in two runs to help lead the Tampa Bay Rays past the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2, in the middle tilt of a three- game set at Rogers Centre.
"I think he has been able to provide that extra run here and there," said Rays manager Joe Maddon about Myers. "His arrival here coincides with the pitching coming about."
Desmond Jennings collected three hits and scored twice for the Rays, who have won four straight and 16 of their last 18 games, while Evan Longoria had the other RBI for Tampa Bay.
Jeremy Hellickson (9-3) yielded two runs on five hits and three walks over five frames. He hasn't suffered a loss since June 13 against Kansas City, going 5-0 over six starts in that span.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney made things interesting in the ninth. He walked Brett Lawrie and Jose Bautista connected on a two-out base hit before Edwin Encarnacion's grounder somehow got past Rodney to plate Lawrie from third.
Rodney was able to get Adam Lind to fly out to center with runners on second and third to secure the victory and collect his 23rd save of the season.
Mark Buehrle (5-7) bounced back from his worst outing of the year with a solid start for Toronto but still absorbed the loss. He surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on 10 hits and three walks in seven innings of work.
"Maybe we were overrated, maybe we weren't as good as we thought we were," said Buehrle. "Now it seems like nothing is going our way."
Bautista smacked his 22nd homer of the year and Encarnacion added an RBI for the Blue Jays, who have dropped three straight and seven of their last 10 contests.
After a Jennings leadoff walk to start the game, Ben Zobrist singled on a bunt to third. Following a flyout that moved Jennings to third, Jennings just beat the tag on Bautista's throw home on Myers' sac fly to right to give the Rays an early 1-0 lead.
Sam Fuld singled and Jennings reached on a bunt single to put the first two on in the third. A Zobrist walk loaded the bases for Longoria, who drove in a run on a force out to second. Myers' RBI base hit to left gave the Rays a three- run cushion. It looked like Ryan Roberts grounded into an inning-ending double play but Lawrie's throw to first was wide and Longoria scored on the error.
Bautista got the Blue Jays on the board in the home half with a two-out solo shot to left.
Jose Reyes hit a leadoff single in the fifth, then advanced to second on a balk and third on wild pitch. Two batters later, Encarnacion's grounder to third plated Reyes and cut the deficit to two.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases off three straight walks to begin the eighth, but that's all they could manage to do. Joel Peralta, who issued the third free pass, escaped the jam unscathed by recording a flyout and two strikeouts in a row to end the inning.
It was Buehrle's 416th consecutive start without a DL stint, the longest active streak in the majors ... Hellickson has allowed three earned runs or less in 69 of his 83 career starts ... Since Myers joined the Rays on June 18, they have gone 21-8 ... Tampa Bay went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, while Toronto finished 0-for-9 ... Luke Scott extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games, going 1-for-4 ... Rodney tied Danys Baez for second place on the Rays all-time saves list with 71 saves.