for this game

Upton's blast lifts Rays over Blue Jays

Aug 28, 2011 - 1:05 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - B.J. Upton's three-run homer in the seventh inning proved to be the difference, as the Tampa Bay Rays held off the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-5.

Sean Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for the Rays, who have won the first two games of this four-game set.

Jeff Niemann (9-5) gave up three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings to pick up the win. He struck out six and walked two.

"In the first inning, I left a few pitches over the heart of the plate," Niemann said. "After that I was able to settle in."

Coming into Saturday's game, the Rays had 11 consecutive starts of seven or more innings, the longest streak in club history and longest by any team since June 11-23, 2003, when the Seattle Mariners had 11 straight starts of seven innings or longer.

Eric Thames and Edwin Encarnacion each hit solo homers in the eighth for the Blue Jays, who have lost three in a row.

Toronto starter Luis Perez allowed two runs on five hits over five innings. Shawn Camp (1-3) gave up one run on two hits in the sixth to take the loss.

The Blue Jays got on the board in the first inning. Thames hit a one-out single and crossed the plate on Jose Bautista's double to left-center field.

The Rays scored twice in the fourth to take the lead. Evan Longoria walked and Ben Zobrist doubled to start the frame. After Upton struck out swinging, Rodriguez hit a two-run, ground-rule double down the left-field line.

Toronto got the run back in the home fourth. Encarnacion walked, moved to second on Kelly Johnson's groundout and scored on J.P. Arencibia's ground-rule double to left to make it 2-2.

Tampa Bay took the lead for good in the sixth. Camp hit Upton with a pitch and gave up a single to Rodriguez. Kelly Shoppach bunted into a double play, pitcher to third to first. Rodriguez raced to third on the play and scored on Elliot Johnson's single to right.

Upton created some distance for the Rays with one swing of the bat in the seventh. Jesse Litsch walked Sam Fuld and Longoria. With two outs, Upton hit a three-run homer to left for a 6-2 edge.

The Blue Jays got one run back in the home seventh. Brett Lawrie tripled and scored on Arencibia's groundout. J.P. Howell took over for Niemann and recorded the final two outs of the inning.

Thames and Encarnacion homered in the eighth to cut the gap to 6-5.

Joel Peralta tossed a perfect ninth to pick up his second save of the season.

"You're going to win some, and you're going to lose some," Lawrie said.

Game Notes

The Rays lead the season series with the Blue Jays, 9-4...Niemann improved to 4-3 in 10 career starts against Toronto...The Blue Jays claimed outfielder DeWayne Wise off waivers from the Florida Marlins on Friday. To put him on the active roster, the club placed outfielder Colby Rasmus on the 15-day disabled list. Wise went 0-for-4...Blue Jays manager John Farrell missed his second straight game due to pneumonia. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu served as manager again.