Blue Jays 7, Devil Rays 5

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TORONTO (AP)—Dewon Brazelton changed his approach to road games. It still didn’t work.

Brazelton became the first pitcher in 56 years to start a major league career with an 0-13 road record, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 on Tuesday night.

Brazelton, however, thinks his new approach of taking his time between pitches worked.

“I don’t know if you want to say pleased, but I have a new attitude and new thing on the road and I think it worked. I just want to build on it,” Brazelton said.

“Sometimes on the road the game is sped up too fast for me. Today, I took my time. I made sure before every pitch that I was ready to throw whatever. And it looked like it worked. I got the loss at the end, but I don’t feel at the end that I threw a bad pitch.”

Brazelton (1-4), who made his 17th road start, allowed six runs—three earned—and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. Third baseman Alex Gonzalez’s throwing error helped the Blue Jays rally for six runs in the sixth.

The last pitcher to lose his first 13 road decisions had been Cincinnati’s Kent Peterson, who lost his first 18 from 1947-49.

“I know what questions you guys want to know about,” Brazelton said. “You guys think about it, so I think about what I am doing that’s making this not go the way I want it, and how can I correct that. I felt like I took a big step today in correcting that.”

So did manager Lou Piniella, even if he is somewhat frustrated.

“I don’t want to deal with it anymore as a manager,” Piniella said to laughter. “He’ll win one sooner or later. He actually pitched well.”

Down 2-0 in the sixth inning, the Blue Jays sent 11 batters to the plate. Shea Hillenbrand hit an RBI double, and Gonzalez’s throw to the plate sailed over catcher Toby Hall, allowing Corey Koskie to score the tying run. Alex Rios chased Brazelton with a two-run single, Reed Johnson added an RBI grounder off Rob Bell and Orlando Hudson hit a run-scoring double.

“We literally threw this one away,” Piniella said.

Gonzalez said it just got away from him.

“I definitely didn’t help the cause. I threw it away with the bases loaded. Not too many good things can happen out of that,” Gonzalez said.

Rios drove in two runs for the Blue Jays, who ended a five-game losing streak. In an effort to spark a slumping offense, the Blue Jays fired hitting coach Mike Barnett on Monday and replaced him with first-base coach Mickey Brantley.

“I helped the team win, so I feel good,” said Rios, who is now working on keeping his hands up higher before swinging. “Mickey is going to help us a lot.”

Rios added that he felt sorry for Barnett.

“He was a great guy and a great hitting coach,” Rios said.

Jonny Gomes hit his first major league home run for Tampa Bay. Gomes’ three-run shot off Ted Lilly (1-2) cut Toronto’s led to 6-5. Toronto’s Vernon Wells added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Lilly won despite allowing five runs and nine hits in six innings. Miguel Batista pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.

Koskie’s throwing error at third base in the third inning allowed Gomes to score Tampa Bay’s first run. Carl Crawford homered in the fifth to make it 2-0.


Three Toronto hitters were plunked by Tampa Bay pitchers. Before the game, Piniella said his young pitchers just don’t have the command that experienced pitchers have. Piniella was still awaiting word of possible suspensions and fines stemming from Sunday’s game against Boston, when six players were ejected. … Blue Jays C Greg Myers chose to become a free agent Tuesday instead of accepting an assignment to Triple-A Syracuse.

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