Rod Barajas hit a grand slam to help
Toronto build and early 6-3 lead, but Halladay allowed eight runs —
seven earned — in six innings to lose for the third time in five starts
against the Rays this season.
Zobrist finished 3 for 4 with two
RBIs and Jason Bartlett had three hits with an RBI, raising his average
to .343, as the Rays won for the seventh time in nine games.
The Rays, who came in three games behind Boston in the AL wild card, snapped a four-game road losing streak.
Toronto has lost nine of 12 and fell to 3-10 against Tampa Bay this season.
Halladay (13-7) gave up 12 hits,
walked one and struck out eight and has lost four of his past six
decisions overall. It was his second straight loss, the second time
this season he has dropped two straight. The righty was tagged for four
runs and eight hits in five innings against Boston last Wednesday.
The seven earned runs are the most
Halladay has allowed since he gave up seven to Tampa Bay on June 5,
2007, a game Toronto won 12-11 thanks to a six-run ninth.
The Rays jumped on Halladay for three
in the first. Zobrist hit an RBI single, Pena followed with a sacrifice
fly and Pat Burrell singled home a run.
Toronto reclaimed the lead in the
second, sending 10 men to the plate. Barajas hit a grand slam off Jeff
Niemann (12-5), his 12th homer and second career slam, and Marco
Scutaro drove in a run with a fielder's choice.
The Blue Jays made it 6-3 in the third when Randy Ruiz scored on Bartlett's fielding error, but the lead was short-lived.
Tampa Bay tied it in the fourth on
Bartlett's RBI single, with a second run scoring on Travis Snider's
throwing error. Willy Aybar capped the inning with a run-scoring
The Rays took the lead for good in the fifth when Zobrist led off with a walk and Pena followed with a homer to right, his 35th.
Zobrist greeted reliever Brandon League with a leadoff homer to left in the seventh, his 23rd.
Ruiz cut it to 9-7 with a solo drive
to left off Dan Wheeler in the eighth, but Tampa Bay tacked on three more
against Shawn Camp in the ninth. Burrell hit an RBI grounder and Gregg
Zaun added a two-run single.
Niemann allowed six runs — five
earned — and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Niemann walked three and
struck out three to move past Toronto's Ricky Romero for the lead among
AL rookies in victories.
Notes: Rays outfielder Carl Crawford
left the game after three innings with a sore back and was replaced by
Aybar. … Pena has as many singles (35) as home runs. … Toronto
activated LHP Scott Downs off the 15-day DL and placed 3B Edwin
Encarnacion (strained left hamstring) on the 15-day DL. … Halladay
will get an extra day of rest before his next scheduled start, Sunday