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Bautista drives in all four runs as Jays beat Rays in extras

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The Canadian Press
5/22/2013 9:27:14 PM
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TORONTO -- Mark Buehrle provided the quality start and slugger Jose Bautista came through with the dramatics in Toronto's first walk-off victory of the season Wednesday at Rogers Centre.

Bautista tied it in the ninth inning with his second homer of the game and drove in the winning run in the 10th to give the Blue Jays a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Bautista lashed an 0-2 pitch from Kyle Farnsworth to right field that brought Colby Rasmus home from third base for the victory.

Bautista, who had four hits and drove in all four Toronto runs, was mobbed by his teammates on the field as the crowd of 18,771 roared its approval.

"He's not just a slugger, he's a complete hitter," said Jays manager John Gibbons. "He can do a lot of things with that bat as you guys well know. That was clutch. He fell down in the count and he shortened it up and just -- boom. A simple base hit the other way for the game winner."

Buehrle, meanwhile, allowed a season-low four hits over seven solid innings to help Toronto (19-27) take the rubber game of the three-game series. Aaron Loup (2-3) worked one inning of relief for the win.

It was another missed opportunity for the Rays, who have had trouble closing out games this season. Tampa Bay (24-22) has blown leads on nine occasions in the seventh inning or later.

"It's been kind of difficult," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "That was another one that got away. Everybody is doing their best, they're trying. It's just not working out."

Tampa Bay had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth. Evan Longoria hit a one-out double off Toronto closer Casey Janssen and scored on James Loney's single up the middle.

Bautista answered in the bottom half with a rainbow shot to left field off Rays closer Fernando Rodney. The Toronto right-fielder now has 11 home runs on the season.

Rodney's fourth blown save of the year spoiled a strong outing by Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson, who allowed four hits and two earned runs over eight innings.

Rasmus led off the 10th with an infield single off Cesar Ramos (1-1), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Emilio Bonifacio and advanced to third on a grounder by Munenori Kawasaki.

That set the stage for Bautista and he delivered once again.

"It was a huge moment and I'm just glad that I was able to get that ball through the hole and drive in the winning run," he said.

The Rays scored twice in the third inning but their bats went cold after that, with Buehrle and reliever Steve Delabar combining to retire 14 in a row. Janssen got the first out of the ninth before Longoria extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a double.

Buehrle allowed two earned runs, walked two batters and struck out six.

"It was just one of those things where everything was working, except the fastball early," he said. "When I had to make pitches, I did."

Toronto opened the scoring in the first inning. Recent triple-A callup Anthony Gose drilled the first pitch from Hellickson down the third-base line for a double and Bautista drove him in with a single.

Bautista then tested the arm of former teammate Kelly Johnson in left field after a deep flyout from Edwin Encarnacion. Johnson's throw was on the mark for the double play.

Tampa Bay scored its runs after a miscue by second baseman Maicer Izturis.

With Jose Molina at second base and Desmond Jennings on first, Ryan Roberts hit a slow roller to Izturis, who tried to barehand the ball as he rushed to make the play. Izturis couldn't come up with it and the ball rolled past him, allowing Molina to score.

Ben Zobrist followed with an RBI single to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. Longoria walked to load the bases but Buehrle got out of the jam when Loney flied out to Gose in left field.

Sean Rodriguez opened the fourth inning with a double to left field. Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia later caught him leaning too far toward third base and picked him off at second base.

In the bottom half of the frame, Bautista tied the game with a no-doubt blast that landed just under the 300-level scoreboard in left field.

Both teams had seven hits and the game took three hours six minutes to play.

Notes: Toronto is the first team in the major leagues this season to have three hitters with at least 10 home runs. Encarnacion leads the team with 12, followed by Bautista with 11 and Arencibia with 10. ... The Blue Jays have recorded 10 come-from-behind wins this season. ... Toronto beat Tampa Bay in a series for the first time since Aug. 6-8, 2010, ending the Rays' streak of 15 straight series victories over the Blue Jays. ... Toronto will continue its nine-game homestand Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. Right-hander Brandon Morrow (1-3) is scheduled to start the opener of the four-game series. The Orioles have yet to name their starter. ... The Rays are off Thursday and will begin a five-game homestand Friday against the New York Yankees. ... The roof was closed at Rogers Centre for the rare late afternoon weekday game.

Jose Bautista Brett Lawrie (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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