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Missed Opportunities Cost The Rays; Blue Jays Win 3-1

The Rays (56-52) loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning with no outs, but came away with nothing. Toronto Blue Jays stud Rickey Romero struck out Matt Joyce and Kelly Shoppach and then induced a jam-ending ground ball from Sean Rodriguez.

Romero (W, 9-9) had a combined 6 innings where he faced the minimum three batters. Altogether, Romero finished 8 innings, striking out 7, walking 4, and hitting Casey Kotchman in the second. The only blemish on Romero's tab came in the sixth inning when Desmond Jennings belted his second homer of the year into the right field bleachers.

The Blue Jays struck first against David Price (L, 9-10) when Jose Bautista ended his two week home run drought, popping a solo shot to left center. The Blue Jays then pushed their advantage to 2-0 when Yunel Escobar homered in the sixth. Jennings narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the bottom half, but the Blue Jays added yet another run after Edwin Encarnacion walked and then Rajai Davis doubled him home.

In the end, Price went 6 and 2/3 innings in a decent-but-not-brilliant outing. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays took to stealing bases as Rajai Davis and Chris Snider combined for three steals. Kelly Shoppach was able to catch Davis at third once -- and frankly, he caught him at second once also, but umpire Cory Blaser called Davis safe -- but altogether it was yet another poor showing for a Rays catcher.

The Rays begin game two of the long home stand tomorrow at 7:10 pm E.T.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.