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Chicago White Sox's Conor Gillaspie celebrates his grand slam with teammates Avisail Garcia, right, and Adam Dunn, left, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, in Chicago, Ill. (Andrew Nelles/AP)
Chicago White Sox's Conor Gillaspie celebrates his grand slam with teammates Avisail Garcia, right, and Adam Dunn, left, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, in Chicago, Ill. (Andrew Nelles/AP)

Late Jays’ rally comes up just short in yet another loss to White Sox Add to ...

One step forward, one step back – such is the Toronto Blue Jays’ lot in the month of August.

After snapping a four-game losing streak against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, they dropped a 7-5 decision on Sunday; the string of wins they’ll need to vault themselves back into the American League’s playoff positions will have to wait.

As was the case in Friday’s series-opener, the Jays’ undoing was a poor first inning from a young starting pitcher.

Drew Hutchison contrived to load the bases in his first inning of work, and very nearly escaped, having gotten to a 2-2 count with two outs against Sox third baseman Connor Gillaspie.

Sadly, he couldn’t come up with a third strike; his next offering was parked in the right-centre bleachers.

After an infield hit from Gordon Beckham, Jordan Danks victimized Hutchison for a second home run in the frame – Toronto’s 1-0 first inning lead (on a vaguely controversial review of a play at the plate involving Jose Reyes – catcher Tyler Flowers was adjudged to have blocked the plate) was short-lived.

The visitors would make a game of it later on, scoring five runs on Chicago starter Scott Carroll – Edwin Encarnacion’s two-run swat, his first since coming back from a thigh injury, was the highlight of the push – but could draw no closer.

Despite scoring at least five runs for the third straight game, the Jays were profligate with men on base, stranding 11 runners – Hutchison settled down nicely after the first, in which he threw 39 pitches, scattering five hits and giving up just one run.

It’s thin consolation for a team that needs to put a run together, but it’ll have to do.

Toronto will benefit from a day off on Monday before travelling 90 minutes north to play a two-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, who sit in first in the National League Central.

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