Blue Jays 6, Devil Rays 5

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Toronto Blue Jays let their bats do the talking.

Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado hit back-to-back homers in the seventh inning, and Wells drove in three runs as Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-5 Wednesday night.

The Blue Jays fourth win in 14 tries against Tampa Bay came after Toronto manager Carlos Tosca wrote a quote from Devil Rays’ outfielder Carl Crawford on a clubhouse message board before the game. After Tampa Bay’s win on Tuesday night Crawford said it seemed that when the Blue Jays get behind “they kind of let down a little bit.”

“You know what, I don’t think he meant any harm by it,” Wells said. “Obviously it didn’t come out right, but he’s going to learn from that and try and watch his words next time.

“I don’t really take too many things to heart,” Wells added. “It may have ruffled some feathers of some of the other guys, and rightfully so, but he’s looking at things compared to how we played against them and that’s how we played against them to be brutally honest.”

Wells’ two-run homer in the seventh put the Blue Jays ahead 5-3. It was his first homer since Aug. 20 and his 31st of the season.

Delgado followed with his 35th homer—his first since Aug. 27—to make it 6-3. Delgado leads the AL with 125 RBIs.

“It’s a good win,” Delgado said. “One thing has got nothing to do with another. We can’t control what other people say. We just have to come out and win the game. I think we did what we needed to do.”

Tosca said he didn’t know if the whole situation had any affect.

“I’m just glad to see us win a game here,” he said.

Mark Hendrickson (9-9) gave up three runs—all in the first inning—and six hits over six innings. In his previous three starts, he had 10.97 ERA over 10 2-3 innings.

Aquilino Lopez threw two scoreless innings for his 10th save in 12 chances. Tampa Bay had runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth but Lopez got pinch-hitter Pete LaForest to pop out to third to end the game.

“We came back,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “We had the winning runs on the bases, but just didn’t get them in.”

Aubrey Huff hit his 30th homer and drove in three runs for Tampa Bay. He is just the third Devil Rays’ player in franchise history to hit 30 or more homers in a season.

“It’s just another number,” Huff said. “Starting off the season, I never really put goals on myself. I just want to hit .300.”

Huff is hitting .315 after getting two hits in three at-bats.

Huff and Travis Lee hit run-scoring singles during a three-run first that gave Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead. Huff later scored on second baseman Orlando Hudson’s throwing error.

The Blue Jays got within 3-2 on Eric Hinske’s two-homer in the third.

The home run ended an 11-inning scoreless streak by Jorge Sosa (5-10), who threw his first complete game last Thursday in a 1-0 win over Seattle.

Wells’ RBI double tied it at 3 in the fifth. Sosa avoided further damage by retiring Josh Phelps on a liner to third and getting Bobby Kielty to fly out with the bases loaded.

Sosa allowed six runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Tampa Bay loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but failed to score when Lee grounded out.

Huff’s two-run homer off Trever Miller in the seventh cut the Devil Raysdeficit to 6-5.


It’s the first time Wells and Delgado have hit back-to-back homers this season. … The Blue Jays had four errors through five innings. … Jose Canseco (34) and Fred McGriff (32) both topped 30 homers for the Devil Raysin 1999. … Hinske also doubled. Twelve of his last 20 hits have been doubles. 57 of his 97 hits overall have been for extra bases. … Crawford singled in the first and has an nine-game hitting streak. The AL stolen base leader—with 48—was thrown out attempting to steal second in the second by Blue Jays C Kevin Cash. It was the eighth unsuccessful attempt by Crawford. He stole a base inthe ninth … Hudson’s error was just his third over the past 64 games.

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