Toronto (33-43) at Tampa Bay (37-36)

Partly Cloudy Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 7:15 pm EDT Tue Jun 29, 2004
  • TV: RSN, FSFL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

When Toronto’s Ted Lilly squared off against Tampa Bay’s John Halama last week, neither pitcher fared very well.

They’ll both get a chance to turn things around when the Blue Jays and Devil Rays resume their four-game series at Tropicana Field.

Lilly turned in his worst outing of the season Thursday, allowing season highs of six earned runs and nine hits in a season-low three innings. The Devil Rays went on to win 19-13.

The left-hander, who had allowed two or fewer earned runs in his previous six starts, allowed three runs in the first inning.

“It wasn’t coming out of my hand very consistently. My feel wasn’t as good as it’s been,” he said. “I wasn’t throwing strikes. And when I was throwing strikes, I was throwing them right down the middle of the plate. A couple times, I made halfway decent pitches and they hit the ball hard somewhere.”

Toronto manager Carlos Tosca noticed that Lilly, who was caught by Kevin Cash instead of usual catcher Gregg Zaun, was throwing from several different angles.

“He just couldn’t quite get into rhythm,” Tosca said. “The fastball just wasn’t coming out of his hand and the breaking stuff was so-so. Tampa Bay’s been a hot team, and the conditions out there were a contributor also.”

Halama earned the victory, but wasn’t much better than Lilly. He allowed five earned runs and eight hits over five innings in winning his second straight start.

The Devil Rays beat Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays 10-2 Monday for their 16th win in 18 games. Tampa Bay, which is a major league-best 27-8 since May 20, climbed back above .500 two days after becoming the first team in history to get above the break-even mark after being 18 games below.

Leadoff hitter Carl Crawford went 4-for-5, scored three runs, stole two bases and had an RBI for the Devil Rays, who got homers from Geoff Blum and Jose Cruz Jr.

Crawford is hitting .453 (29-for-64) over his last 14 games and leads the majors with 35 steals. The outfielder, who has scored a run in a team-record nine consecutive games and has 15 RBIs in his last 16 games, has four four-hit games this season.

He needs one more stolen base to become the eighth player since 1900 to steal 100 before his 23rd birthday.

Zaun and Alexis Rios each had two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who have lost two straight and 14 of their last 23.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Lilly LAD vs. J. Halama Oak
12-10 Record 7-6
4.06 ERA 4.70
168 K 59
89 BB 27
1.32 WHIP 1.36