The Blue Jays scored five runs in the third inning en route to an 11-6 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday—their first victory in five games and second in 12 games.
“Even a child needs a piece of candy once in a while. Our guys have been battling,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “To their credit, they didn’t fold.
“Hopefully, we can pick up on this and build some momentum to go into Tampa.”
On Monday, however, they pounded out 17 hits.
“We’re in a lot of games, they’re always competitive games,” said Eric Hinske, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles. “We had a lead yesterday, wound up on the short end of the stick.”
“I don’t think the gap is that far away. We’ve got a good club here—we’ve got to swing the bats, have some timely hitting, get some better pitching performances at times. We’re going to stick with it and keep going.”
On Sunday, Toronto led 5-0 before falling 6-5 for their fourth straight setback.
“There were definitely a couple games we should’ve won, and we’d be in a lot better situation,” Tosca said. “We’re 1-6 against the Yankees, and in my opinion they’re the best team in baseball right now. We’re one game under .500 against the Boston Red Sox and .500 against the Minnesota Twins. That’s not bad.”
The Devil Rays come in off Monday’s 4-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles— their sixth setback in seven games.
Tampa Bay has not scored a run in 16 innings.
“The bats the last two days have gone cold,” manager Lou Piniella said.
Devil Rays starter Joe Kennedy will look to stay undefeated against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. In eight career starts against Toronto, he is 4-0 with a 3.47 ERA.
STANDINGS: Blue Jays - 4th place, 9 1/2 GB, AL East. Devil Rays - 5th place, 10 GB, AL East.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Pete Walker (1-1, 2.60 ERA). On Thursday, Walker gave up three earned runs and three hits—including two home runs—in a 4-0 loss to the New York Yankees. In four career appearances, including three starts, against the Devil Rays, he is 2-2 with a 5.06 ERA.
DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Kennedy (0-1, 5.18 ERA). On Thursday, Kennedy turned in his worst performance of the season, giving up five earned runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Blue Jays - Carlos Delgado, .333 avg and 5 HRs; Delgado and Wells, 19 RBIs; Shannon Stewart, 17 runs; Eric Hinske, 1 SB. Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli, .372 avg; Rey Ordonez, 3 HRs and 15 RBIs; Carl Crawford, 11 runs and 5 SBs.
2002 SEASON SERIES: Blue Jays, 11-8.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Blue Jays - After Monday’s game, Toronto optioned OF Reed Johnson to Triple-A Syracuse and recalled OF Jason Werth. … 1B Delgado is batting just .136 (3-for-22) all-time against Kennedy. … The Blue Jays lead the majors with 166 strikeouts. Devil Rays - OF Crawford is in the midst of an 0-for-20 slump. … LHP Jim Parque, on the DL with left shoulder tendinitis, will make rehabilitation starts on Thursday and next Tuesday at Triple-A Durham. … Since snapping a career-starting 13-game hitting streak on Thursday, OF Baldelli has a hit in four straight games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jays - 5-6 on the road; Devil Rays - 4-6 at home.