(Wednesday, May 23rd)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Toronto 4 (11 innings)
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - B.J. Upton knocked in the game-winning run with a double in the 11th inning as the Tampa Bay Rays topped the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-4, in the final test of a three-game series.
Jake McGee (1-1) struck out two in a perfect top of the 11th to earn the win while Drew Sutton had a two-run double for the Rays, who took the last two games of the series.
Darren Oliver (0-2) gave up the deciding run to suffer the loss. Edwin Encarnacion sent the game into extras with a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth inning and Jose Bautista also homered for Toronto, which lost for the third time in four games.
"We make a rush late to tie things up, and kind of ran out of time," said Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
James Shields started the game for the Rays and struck out 10 while allowing three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and a walk through 7 1/3 innings. Ricky Romero gave up four runs on two hits and seven walks with seven strikeouts in a six-plus inning start for Toronto.
"I thought James Shields was really, really good," said Tampa Bay mannager Joe Maddon. "He deserves a better fate than that."
Toronto entered the eighth inning trailing 4-2, but managed to tie the game when Bautista doubled to knock Shields off the bump before Encarnacion greeted reliever Joel Peralta by pulling a ball over the left-center field wall.
After the Blue Jays could not capitalize on Kelly Johnson's two-out double in the top of the ninth inning, Tampa Bay had a chance to end the game in the bottom of the frame when Carlos Pena worked a one-out walk and moved to second on a base hit by Upton.
But Casey Janssen fanned Matt Joyce before Sutton hit a ball towards the right side of the infield that Omar Visquel stopped with a diving grab and threw home, catching Pena at the plate as he tried to score from second on the infield hit.
Fernando Rodney and McGee each retired the Blue Jays in order in the 10th and 11th innings before Rich Thompson was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the 11th.
Pena stepped up next and went down swinging, but Upton followed by pulling a 2-2 inside fastball into the left-field corner to bring Thompson all the way around the bases for the deciding run as he raced home without a throw.
Toronto jumped out to the early lead on Bautista's two-out solo blast to left- center field in the top of the first, but the Rays quickly answered in the bottom of the frame when Pena and Joyce both walked before rounding the bases on Sutton's double to left-center field.
Tampa Bay then added to its lead in the third inning after Pena was hit by a pitch to start the frame and moved to third on Upton's double down the third- base line.
Joyce followed with a groundout to first to plate Pena and Upton later came home when Luke Scott beat out a potential double-play grounder to give the Rays a 4-1 advantage.
The Blue Jays got a run back in the fifth inning when Brett Lawrie singled, moved to third on Elliot Johnson's missed catch error on a force attempt at second and came home on Yan Gomes' sacrifice fly.
Rasmus then stole second, but Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar both went down swinging to end the inning.
The Rays failed to add to their lead in seventh inning when Chris Gimenez was thrown out at home and Sutton struck out to leave the bases loaded.
Tampa Bay improved to 11-3 in one-run games this season...Toronto went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base...The Rays hit 2- for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11...Shields threw 81 of his 110 pitches for strikes, while Romero threw just 54 of his 105 pitches for strikes.
05/23 23:59:38 ET