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TOR@TB: Encarnacion drives in Lind with a double

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jon Rauch didn't mince words following a disappointing performance against the Rays.

The veteran closer took full responsibility for the Blue Jays' third consecutive loss and his first blown save with Toronto.

Rauch surrendered a ninth-inning walk-off home run to B.J. Upton, which overshadowed a strong performance by left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes and led to a 3-2 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

"I screwed up," said Rauch, who entered the game 5-for-5 in save opportunities this year. "I made two really, really bad pitches, and they capitalized on it."

Tampa Bay's ninth inning began with a leadoff single by right fielder Ben Zobrist. It marked the first hit the Blue Jays' bullpen had allowed over its past 11 1/3 innings, dating back to eighth frame of Friday's game against the Yankees.

Upton then took the second pitch he saw from Rauch and sent it over the wall in left-center field. It was the fourth walk-off hit of Upton's career and his third against the Blue Jays.

"I tried to command the bottom part of the zone, and I didn't do it tonight," said Rauch, who blew a save for the first time since July 1, 2010, when he was with the Twins.

"We're all human, we're going to make mistakes. But I'm better than that, and I let my team down today. We had a chance to win that ballgame, and I screwed it up."

The surging Rays have won 15 of their past 20 games. Upton's blast gave the club its fourth walk-off victory of the season and second walk-off home run. They have five comeback victories and are 5-1 in one-run games.

"Just [looking to] get a good pitch to hit," Upton said of his fourth home run of the year. "The first pitch was a good pitcher's pitch. I definitely didn't want to swing at it in that situation. Then he threw me a fastball, and I got a good piece of the barrel to it."

The Blue Jays' late-inning collapse took most of the attention away from a strong outing by Reyes, who was in line for his first win since June 13, 2008. The 26-year-old left-hander allowed just one run on four hits while striking out four.

For arguably the first time all season, Reyes showed strong command and threw 56 of his 92 pitches for strikes. His only blemish came in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single by Kelly Shoppach.

"When I kept the ball down, I was successful," said Reyes, who is 0-11 since his last victory. "Curveball was working today, and as long as I keep the ball down, I'm going to be fine.

"I just got to keep [my performance] up. It seems like every other start is good, but I've got to be more consistent."

Reyes has gone 24 starts without a win, which is the longest streak since Matt Young went 27 starts between victories for the Mets and Cubs from 1992-94.

It's not the type of record any pitcher would want to be a part of, but it's one that Reyes says isn't affecting the way he throws.

"You would like to get that 'W,' but as long as you keep the team in the game, that's the most important thing," said Reyes, who is 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA this season. "The wins will come as long as I keep up my end of the deal of quality starts."

The Blue Jays got on the scoreboard early but were unable to generate much offense against Tampa Bay's Wade Davis.

Corey Patterson and Yunel Escobar each reached base in the first inning before Adam Lind drove an RBI single up the middle to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.

In the fourth, Toronto got on the scoreboard again. Lind led off the inning with a single to right field for his second hit of the game. Two batters later, Edwin Encarnacion drove a ball off the wall in straight-away center field.

It was just shy of leaving the park, but Encarnacion would settle for a standup RBI double. It was Encarnacion's ninth double of the season and pushed his RBI total to seven. That capped the offense the Blue Jays would generate off Davis.

The Rays right-hander allowed those two runs on six hits while striking out two. It was Davis' fifth consecutive quality start and the first time he did not record a victory in his past four outings.

It was a pitchers' duel for most of the game, even though Rays manager Joe Maddon didn't seem overly impressed by the performance of either starter.

"Their guy Reyes challenged us with fastballs primarily," Maddon said. "I really thought we would get to him a little more, because he was just coming at us with fastballs. But we did not get him. And we just had to pitch well ourselves. And I don't think Wade was particularly sharp, but he got us through the sixth, which was big."

Toronto has lost three consecutive games. The club is 4-4 on its current 10-game road trip. Comments