Tampa Bay (63-82) at Toronto (60-87)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 14° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 18, 2004
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John Halama will return to the starting rotation for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as they continue a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome.

Halama, who has made 13 starts in 30 appearances this year, moved back into the rotation after manager Lou Piniella put right-hander Jorge Sosa into the bullpen to replace injured setup man Jesus Colome.

“Sosa will basically fill Colome’s role as a setup man for Danys Baez, which was working out pretty well,” Piniella said. “Now we’ll try some combination of Sosa one day and maybe Travis Harper the next day.”

Halama last pitched on Sept. 9 at Yankee Stadium, allowing a run and four hits over 3 2-3 innings in the Devil Rays’ 10-5 loss to New York. The left-hander has not started since a 5-0 loss to Oakland on Aug. 21 in which he yielded five runs and eight hits over five innings.

Halama’s last victory came in an 8-3 triumph at Boston on Aug. 6, when he surrendered three runs and 10 hits over six innings.

“He’s a good long guy and spot starter, and that’s the way it has turned out for him this year,” Piniella said of Halama, who is 6-6 with a 4.59 ERA overall this year.

The Devil Rays, trying to avoid a seventh straight last-place finish, took Friday’s series-opener 11-4, moving four games in front of the Blue Jays in the hunt to stay out of the AL East cellar. Aubrey Huff homered and drove in three runs and B.J. Upton hit a three-run shot for Tampa Bay, which improved to 4-2 since a 12-game losing streak.

Carlos Delgado and Eric Crozier homered for the Blue Jays, who are a season-worst 27 games below .500 at 60-87.

Delgado hit his 30th home run, becoming the 14th player in major league history to hit 30 or more in eight consecutive seasons. His two-run shot in the first hit off the top of SkyDome’s Windows restaurant in center field.

These teams have split 14 meetings this year.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Ritchie Col vs. D. Bush Tor
0-2 Record 5-4
9.00 ERA 3.69
4 K 64
6 BB 25
2.25 WHIP 1.23