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Toronto Blue Jays waste solid start for Daniel Norris in 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay Rays

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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Another game got away from the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field.

Daniel Norris pitched seven sparkling innings, but Toronto's bullpen allowed three runs in the eighth inning of a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.

The Blue Jays dropped the first two games of the weekend set and have lost 22 of their last 23 series at Tampa Bay.

"What are you going to do? It's on the schedule, you've got to play here, play better," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "The pitchers have a great approach and they execute their pitches. That shuts down our offense pretty good, but we never seem to really hit a lot here either."

James Loney tied it at 2 with a pinch-hit RBI double before Tim Beckham's two-run double off Miguel Castro gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 advantage.

Ernesto Frieri (1-1) struck out all three batters he faced for the win. Brad Boxberger pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Toronto's Brett Cecil (1-2) faced one batter, giving up a two-out single to David DeJesus.

"We're not going to change anything," Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said of the bullpen's long inning. "We're going to continue to attack the hitters. It was a situation where (Castro) came in with a couple guys on base, attacked a good hitter and he got a good hit."

Norris allowed one run and five hits on his 22nd birthday, bouncing back from a rough start against Atlanta. The rookie left-hander struck out seven and walked three.

"All week I was stressing over it, anxious to get back out there and see how I feel," Norris said. "It was weird. Something kind of just clicked after the second inning and I felt back to normal."

Martin opened the seventh with an opposite-field homer to right off Steve Geltz that put the Blue Jays up 2-1.

PHOTO: Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, left, catches a pop up in front of pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) from Toronto Blue Jays' Dalton Pompey during the second inning of a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday, April 25, 2015.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, left, catches a pop up in front of pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) from Toronto Blue Jays' Dalton Pompey during the second inning of a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday, April 25, 2015.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Martin and outfielders Michael Saunders and Dalton Pompey were in the Toronto lineup, marking the first time in major league history that three Canadian position players started in the same game.

Blue Jays rookie Devon Travis went 2 for 4, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. He doubled in the first and scored on Josh Donaldson's single.

Tampa Bay tied it at 1 later in the first when Evan Longoria got the first of his four hits, a pop-fly double down the right-field line.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: OF Jose Bautista (shoulder) missed his fourth straight game and is day to day.

Rays: Tampa Bay closer Jake McGee (back) threw a 21-pitch bullpen session and might pitch Tuesday for Class A Charlotte.

UP NEXT

Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (2-2) expects no carryover Sunday when he faces the Blue Jays for the first time since April 16, when Longoria was hit by a pitch one inning after Archer plunked Edwin Encarnacion.

"It seemed more like a misunderstanding than anything," Archer said. "I'm not going to try and throw 99 (mph) and hit somebody. That's just dangerous."

LHP Mark Buehrle (3-0) starts for Toronto.

ILLEGAL TOUCHING?

Gibbons talked with the umpires following Beckham's hit after he was told by someone in the dugout that Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo may have touched one of the baserunners.

"You're not allowed to do that," Gibbons said. "But you can't review that."

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PHOTO: Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, left, catches a pop up in front of pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) from Toronto Blue Jays' Dalton Pompey during the second inning of a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday, April 25, 2015.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
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