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Friday, July 11 (All times eastern)

Toronto Blue Jays (48-45) at Tampa Bay Rays (42-52), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Mark Buehrle (10-6, 2.60) Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (5-5, 3.16)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays will try to right the ship Friday night when they enter Tropicana Field to kick off a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Toronto shared the American League East lead with Baltimore just over a week ago and held a six-game lead as recently as June 6. But while the Orioles have continued stringing together wins, the Blue Jays have lost six of their last seven.

They got a much needed day off Thursday after coughing up a pair of leads in an 8-7 loss to the Angels a day earlier. Reliever Aaron Loup served up the go- ahead homer to Albert Pujols in the seventh inning, breaking Loup's streak of 59 straight relief appearances without giving up a homer.

"We (gave) away a good opportunity," manager John Gibbons said. "We had the lead, coughed it up, took a slim lead. It was disappointing, it really was."

Starter Marcus Stroman was chased after yielding six runs (five earned) in only 3 2/3 innings.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay had won eight of nine on the road before returning home to face Kansas City for a three-game set this week. However, the Rays lost that series after the Royals rallied for a 5-4 victory on Wednesday.

Rays right fielder Kevin Kiermaier belted his first career grand slam in the fourth inning to erase a two-run deficit. However, that was also the last time Tampa Bay scored in the game. In the top of the ninth, reliever Kirby Yates gave up the decisive three-run homer to All-Star Salvador Perez.

Tampa Bay was just 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position during the three-game series, including 1-for-9 on Wednesday.

"I understand we lost by a run on a three-run homer in the ninth inning," manager Joe Maddon said. "But we left a lot of chicken on the bone and you just can't do that stuff."

Maddon will hand the ball to Chris Archer to start Friday's series opener. The right-hander is coming off his deepest outing of the season at Detroit on Saturday, as he went 8 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits to earn his fifth win.

"It was my best game so far (this season), but there is room to grow," he said. "I'm going to continue to execute pitches better."

Archer has thrown seven or more innings in each of his last three starts.

Taking the mound for Toronto is veteran southpaw Mark Buehrle, who has lost his last five decisions despite a 3.60 ERA over that span. Buehrle's last win was back on June 1, although he is 10-1 when the Blue Jays give him two or more runs of support.

Toronto has won five of the seven head-to-head meetings between these two teams this season. This marks the final series before the All-Star break.

07/11 10:51:01 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
1st
CREI 23
NCCU 20
 
1st
NCSU 19
SFLA 13
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
6:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAC
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
POR
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
GSW
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
DEN
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
 
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
 
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
 
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
 
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
 
2nd
ND 74
PROV 75
 
2nd
RAD 78
CATAWBA 47
 
2nd
DEN 69
COPST 46
 
2nd
UAB 41
JST 38
 
2nd
WICHS 85
NWM 40
 
2nd
OKLA 82
NWST 65
 
2nd
KSU 36
YALE 34
 
1st
CREI 23
NCCU 20
 
1st
NCSU 19
SFLA 13
 
1st
UCR 38
STKAT 21
 
Half
PSU 31
USC 30
 
1st
HC 47
NICHOLSCOL 33
 
1st
BC 2
DAY 3
 
1st
MON 2
TOWS 4
 
1st
HOF 6
WAGN 5
 
5:00pm Tonight
CIN
EILL
5:00pm Tonight
UGA
FATL
5:00pm Tonight
BRAD
NCAT
 
5:00pm Tonight
LATU
PBY
5:00pm Tonight
RUTG
Terriers
 
5:00pm Tonight
SAMF
UMKC
5:30pm Tonight
NAVY
BING
6:00pm Tonight
SHU
GWEBB
6:00pm Tonight
UNT
IONA
6:00pm Tonight
KENT
MNTST
6:00pm Tonight
FORD
MLOWELL
 
6:00pm Tonight
UCF
USCU
 
6:30pm Tonight
SCAR
AKR
6:30pm Tonight
WVU
UCONN
7:00pm Tonight
CALST
DEL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOW
HOOD
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
SHU
7:00pm Tonight
VANDY
TENST
8:00pm Tonight
NE
MAN
8:00pm Tonight
COLST
MERC
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
NARZ
8:00pm Tonight
WASH
PAC
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
SDCHR
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
ODU
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
UCI
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
1st
WIN 0
STL 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
MON
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
ARI
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
 
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
 
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
 
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
 
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
 
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
 
2nd
SEA 3
ARI 0
 
2nd
SDC 3
STL 3
 
1st
DEN 3
MIA 7
 
1st
SFX 7
WAS 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
NYG
DAL