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Rays blow two big leads as their losing streak continues

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Even when the Tampa Bay Rays hit these days, they lose.

The Rays blew two big leads (one of three runs in regulation and one of two  in extra innings) Friday night to lose their sixth game, this one 7-5 to the New York Yankees, which undid a lot of deficit with home run balls. The Rays have now lost eight of their last 10 games.

A three-run homer by Mark Teixeira in the eighth and another by Brian McCann in the bottom of the 12th inning lifted New York to its victory. The difference this time was that Tampa Bay had 12 hits – a week’s worth – but could not hold the Yankees.

It had started well for Tampa Bay, which jumped to a 3-0 lead. Starting pitcher Chris Archer allowed only three hits in his six and two-thirds innings of work.

But it wouldn’t last. Even in their slump, the meat of the bullpen has done well. But they beat up Kevin Jepsen – the second and third batters he faced singled, and Teixeira homered. Then they beat up Steve Geltz in the 12th with a walk, two singles and a home run.

“Tough way to lose,” said manager Kevin Cash.

The Rays had broken a tie with two in the top of the 12th, including a go-ahead single by Kevin Kiermaier, but could not hold it.

The Rays had threatened in the 11th when Evan Longoria hit a one-out double, but replays showed that Longoria lifted his foot off the bag while being tagged.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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