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Sands Ninth-Inning Blast Gives Tampa Bay Win In Dunedin

 
Sands Ninth-Inning Blast Gives Tampa Bay Win In Dunedin

by Steve Carney
Follow @stevecarney

Tampa Bay squandered a great outing by Nathan Karns and a massive home run by Jeremy Moore, watching a 4-0 lead disappear before Jerry Sands' ninth-inning homer gave the Rays a 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday

The Rays got on the board in the third inning, loading the bases off Marcus Stroman with nobody out in the inning before Desmond Jennings blooped a base hit to left to score a run.  Ali Solis then made it 2-0, scoring on a double play grounder by Matt Joyce.

Moore added on an inning later, teeing off on a Stroman pitch and knocking it over the batters' eye in centerfield an estimated 450 feet to make it 3-0.

In the sixth, an RBI single by Hak-Ju Lee scored Moore, who had singled and stole second base to make it 4-0.

The lead fell apart on Josh Lueke, who allowed a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion and an RBI double by Colby Rasmus before an RBI groundout brought Toronto even.

The game remained 4-4 until Sands hit a solo shot to left to break the tie.

C.J. Reifenhauser earned the win after throwing the final two perfect innings.

Tampa Bay will look for their third straight spring win Thursday when they welcome Pittsburgh to Port Charlotte.  Matt Moore, who got shelled in his last outing against the Pirates, will get the start against Jeanmar Gomez.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.

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