PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) - If their regular-season games are anything like their spring training matchups, Rays and Blue Jays will be a great rivalry this season.
Tampa Bay minor-league shortstop Omar Luna scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning, then won it with an RBI single in the 11th as the Rays defeated Toronto 4-3 on Wednesday.
It was the third time in a row that a spring game between the two teams was decided by a walkoff single.
On Tuesday, the Rays edged the Blue Jays 3-2 in 10 innings. On March 2 in Dunedin, Toronto won 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth.
``These games have been very interesting with Toronto the last couple of days,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``I anticipate the same kind of game during the season when both varsities are playing.'
Rays center fielder B.J. Upton had a pair of doubles and drove in two runs while starting pitcher Jeff Niemann tossed four scoreless innings.
It was Niemann's first outing since pitching two innings in a 'B' game against Minnesota in which he gave up seven hits and six runs.
``Today is kind of one of those days where everything clicked and you start the muscle memory and things feel like what they should feel like,' Niemann said.
``I'm definitely getting there.'
After Niemann's four-hit, two-strikeout performance, the Blue Jays struck for three runs against Dane De La Rosa in the fifth. Corey Patterson drove in two runs with a triple, then scored on Yunel Escobar's single.
The Rays tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on a John Jaso double, which drove in Luna.
Brett Cecil went four innings for the Blue Jays, allowing three hits and two runs while striking out two. Alex Cobb (1-1) got the win. Luis Perez (0-1) took the loss.
The Associated Press News Service
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