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Tampa Bay Out-Lasts Blue Jays

For the second straight night, Tampa Bay used a three-run rally in its last at-bat to beat Toronto.

Miguel Cairo's RBI double capped a three-run ninth off Randy Myers that gave the Devil Rays a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

"When you play hard for nine innings, you're going to get chances to win," Cairo said. "Randy Myers is one of the best closers in baseball. When we got a run, I said we can make it happen."

On Monday night, Tampa Bay scored three in the eighth to beat the Blue Jays 8-7.

Myers (2-2) couldn't hold a 3-1 lead for starter Pat Hentgen on Tuesday. With one out in the ninth, pinch-hitter Aaron Ledesma doubled and scored on Mike DiFelice's single.

After Bobby Smith's base hit sent pinch-runner Randy Winn to third, Kevin Stocker hit a chopper to short and Winn beat Alex Gonzalez's throw to the plate. Cairo hit Myers' next pitch into right-center for a ground-rule double, scoring Smith.

"They had been pitching me outside all night," Cairo said. "When I hit it, I thought it had a chance. ... I was just hoping it would drop."

Toronto manager Tim Johnson said the two tough losses shouldn't have a long-term affect.

"These are professional athletes," Johnson said. "If this bothers them and you get into a funk like this and can't come back out of it, then you shouldn't be here. You see what kind of character you have."

Jim Mecir (3-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. The Devils Rays also got solid relief from Rick White, who allowed only two hits in 3 1-3 innings.

"It was a heck of an effort by Rick White to keep us in the game," said manager Larry Rothschild. "That was the key. Without that, it doesn't matter what we do in the ninth."

Hentgen allowed one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings.

Felipe Crespo, making just his 13th start this season, hit a two-run double in the fourth to give the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead.

With one out, starter Jason Johnson hit Tony Fernandez and Darrin Fletcher doubled with two outs. After Johnson walked Gonzalez, Crespo's drive to left-center bounced into the stands.

Fletcher went 3-for-4, including an RBI single in the second. Shawn Green also had three hits for Toronto.

Hentgen didn't allow a hit until Paul Sorrento hit his seventh homer with two outs in the fourth. It was Sorrento's first RBI this month and just his second in 15 games.

Johnson failed to make it through the fourth inning for the third time in four starts, allowing three runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Tampa Bay won for just the second time in 38 games when trailing after eight innings.

Notes: Myers has blown three saves in 21 tries. ... Toronto outfielder Jose Canseco was a late scratch wth back spasms. A team spokesman said the problem is not considered serious and that Canseco might play Wednesday. ... Hentgen pitched eight innings in a May 20 win over Tampa Bay at Toronto. ... Devil Rays third baseman Wade Boggs has a 10-game hitting streak, longest in team history. His sixth-inning single tied him with Brooks Robinson for 35th on the career hits list. ... Tampa Bay left-hander Wilson Alvarez, sidelined by shoulder stiffness since May 10, threw off a bullpen mound for the second time in three days Tuesday. ... The Blue Jays released pitcher Erik Hanson. The right-hander had been designated for assignment June 10. Hanson was 0-3 (6.24 ERA) in 11 games. ... Green has a nine-game hitting streak.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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