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

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

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.

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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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About the Author
National Correspondent

Sean Gordon joined the Globe's Quebec bureau in 2008 and covers the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact, as well as Quebec's contingent of Olympic athletes. More

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