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Blue Jays use long ball to down Rays

May 20, 2011 - 7:09 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - J.P. Arencibia hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning, powering the Toronto Blue Jays over the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2, at Rogers Centre.

Arencibia's blast made a winner of Ricky Romero (4-4), who evened his record by holding the Rays to one run on three hits and two walks over seven innings. He said the key to his success was simply getting the ball in the zone.

"I've been throwing a lot of strikes with my fastball and getting ahead, and I think that's been the biggest difference," Romero said.

Juan Rivera also homered for the Blue Jays, who had won six in a row prior to a 6-5 loss in the two-game series opener on Wednesday.

Wade Davis (4-4) was done in by the long ball, taking the loss after yielding three runs on seven hits and four walks in 7 2/3 innings.

B.J. Upton and Kelly Shoppach each homered in defeat, Tampa Bay's fourth in six games.

"Quickly played game, well played game, they got one more run," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "It's kind of an innocuous game in a lot of ways except for the good pitching."

Davis needed just 55 pitches to get through Toronto's hard-hitting lineup over the first six frames.

Things suddenly began to unravel in the seventh, though, starting with a one- out walk to Rivera. Arencibia stepped in and wasted little time sending the first pitch he saw -- a middle-in changeup -- over the center field wall for a 3-1 lead.

Shoppach cut the deficit in half with an opposite-field shot off Marc Rzepczynski in the eighth, and Rays reliever Juan Cruz stranded runners on second and third by getting Arencibia on a bouncer back to the mound in the bottom half.

Nevertheless, Frank Francisco entered in the ninth and retired the Rays' 3-4-5 hitters -- Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce and Upton -- to seal the win and a split of the two-game series with his fifth save.

Rivera and Upton each got enough extension on outside pitches to trade home runs in the second and fifth inning, respectively.

Game Notes

The Rays were seeking their sixth straight road series win...This was the 646th consecutive game the Rays' starting pitcher was 30 years of age or younger, matching the 1970-74 Expos for the third longest streak since 1900...Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista went 0-for-4 and failed to reach base for just the second time in 35 games this season...Toronto outfielder Corey Patterson extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the sixth...Both teams open interleague play on Friday, with the Rays traveling to play the Marlins and Toronto hosting the Astros.