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Rays 5, Blue Jays 1

The SportsXchange

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Moore struck out 11 batters on Tuesday night and the Tampa Bay Rays again stifled the Toronto Blue Jays in a 5-1 victory at Tropicana Field.

Toronto entered the three-game series with an 11-game winning streak, the longest in the major leagues this season, and scoring runs in droves. But a night after being limited to four hits in a 4-1 loss, Toronto managed just six hits against Moore and four relievers.

The loss kept the Blue Jays (38-38) in last place in the stout American League East.

Fourth-place Tampa Bay improved to 41-37 as Moore (10-3) allowed one run and four hits, tying career highs in strikeouts (11), walks (6) and pitches (120) in six innings. He became the sixth major leaguer with at least 10 wins this season.

A nifty slide at the plate by Jose Molina was crucial in the Rays' decisive three-run fourth inning against Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle.

The plodding Molina -- who led off with a walk and advanced after Kelly Johnson was hit by a pitch and Desmond Jennings (2-for-4) singled -- was sent home by third base coach Tom Foley when Sean Rodriguez lifted a fly ball to medium-deep right field. Jose Bautista gunned a throw home that arrived before Molina, but Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia stabbed and missed the ball with his glove as Molina skidded past and scored for a 2-1 lead.

Ben Zobrist's subsequent run-scoring sacrifice fly to right was less eventful, and after Buehrle walked Evan Longoria intentionally, rookie Wil Myers ripped a run-scoring liner to left for a 4-1 lead.

Buehrle (4-5) allowed four runs, eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts. He lasted just five innings for the second straight start.

Johnson's seventh-inning groundout scored Yunel Escobar (3-for-5) to boost the lead to 5-1.

Toronto had taken a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Maicer Izturis' two-out RBI single. Moore worked himself into trouble with two walks and nearly out of it with two strikeouts before the ninth-hole hitter sprayed a line drive to right for his eighth RBI in the last 13 games.

The Rays tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the inning on Jennings' two-out single to left. James Loney (3-for-5) began the rally with a one-out single, and took second on a wild pitch.

Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus were each 2-for-4 for Toronto.

NOTES: The Blue Jays will activate SS Jose Reyes on Wednesday. Reyes, 30, hasn't played for Toronto since spraining his right ankle on April 12, when he was batting .395. Reyes one of several major offseason acquisitions for the Jays. ... LHP David Price will be limited to about 70 pitches in a rehab start Wednesday with Class A Charlotte (Port Charlotte, Fla.). He will then be re-evaluated to assess if he requires another minor league start before rejoining the Rays. He was placed on the disabled list on May 16 with a triceps strain. ... Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson is tied for the major league lead in wins (four) this month. ... Ben Zobrist started designated hitter for Tampa Bay with Kelly Johnson at second base. ... Toronto LF Rajai Davis was batting .392 with two grand slams with the bases loaded before striking out against Moore in the third inning.
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