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Rays make it five in a row, beat Jays 3-0 behind Upton, Longoria and Hellickson



The Rays extended their winning streak to five with a 3-0 sweep-completing win over the Blue Jays.

The Rays got one run in the first, on B.J. Upton's career-high extending 26th homer, and two in the eighth on a double off the right-centerfield wall by Evan Longoria.

RHP Jeremy Hellickson worked into the sixth inning and after contributions from four relievers - including a big strikeout by Jake McGee and a dazzling fielding play by J.P. Howell - Fernando Rodney finished for his 44th save.

The Rays improved to 83-70, with nine games left, as they try to get back into the postseason. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind Oakland for the second wild-card.

The result was the same, though the method different after the Rays scored a team-record 43 runs over their previous four games.

Upton gave the Rays the lead in the first with his 8th homer in his last 14 games and 16th in 41 since Aug. 11, most in the majors over that span.

Hellickson, winless in his last five starts, worked into the sixth inning for the Rays, allowing only five hits but leaving a mess for LHP Jake McGee, with the bases loaded and two outs. McGee came in to strike out Kelly Johnson.

The Jays threatened to tie in the seventh when a blooper to shallow center by Anthony Gose turned into a double as it dropped between SS Ben Zobrist and Upton. Gose moved to third on a fly out, but didn't score as reliever J.P. Howell made a dazzling play on Colby Rasmus' slow roller past the mound, chasing it down at the edge of the grass and throwing sidearm to first before he fell to the ground.

The Rays added on in the eighth as Desmond Jennings reached on a broken bat single and stole second with one out. That prompted the Jays to walk Ben Zobrist to face Longoria, and he made them pay with a shot off the right-centerfield wall that scored two.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 12:39am]


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