Blue Jays 8, Devil Rays 2

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TORONTO (AP)—Gustavo Chacin outpitched Scott Kazmir in a matchup of two of the American League’s top young left-handers.

Chacin improved to 4-1, limiting Tampa Bay to two runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 8-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.

“Two good young left-handers went at it pretty good. They are only going to get better,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “Gustavo has such good command out there. He’s under control, throwing all his pitches for strikes. He’s been outstanding.”

Chacin struck out three and walked two in lowering his ERA to 2.48.

“All my pitches were great,” Chacin said. “I threw all of them for strikes.”

Kazmir (0-2) remained winless in five starts, allowing four runs on nine hits in six innings.

“Kazmir is doing fine. He’s learning to pitch up here,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “They are both good looking young pitchers.”

Piniella went off on a TV reporter when he was asked about his dispute with Boston’s Curt Schilling, who says Piniella orders his pitchers to throw at batters.

Asked if Tampa Bay’s recent beanings are a reflection on him, Piniella said sternly: “Why is it going to reflect on me? I don’t throw the balls. I don’t throw them, I don’t throw them and I don’t order people getting hit, so it’s not going to reflect on me.”

Piniella called a team meeting before the game and issued a statement ripping Schilling.

Alex Rios tripled twice and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays, who gave Gibbons a two-year contract extension earlier in the day. Toronto has won two straight following a five-game losing streak, helping it get back to .500.

Toronto catcher Ken Huckaby said Chacin doesn’t pitch like a rookie.

“He pitches like he’s been up here for a long time. That’s what made it so much fun,” Huckaby said. “He was shaking off pitches. He had good ideas and his composure was great.”

Tampa Bay dropped to 1-6 on the road.

Rios tripled in the second and scored on John McDonald’s RBI single.

Reed Johnson hit a two-run double in the fourth, giving Toronto a 3-0 lead.

Rios hit an RBI triple in the fifth.

The Blue Jays added two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth.

Rios hit a run-scoring single and Orlando Hudson had a sacrifice fly in the seventh. In the eighth, Shea Hillenbrand hit sacrifice fly and second baseman Jorge Cantu’s throwing error allowed Toronto’s eighth run to score.


The 42-year-old Gibbons, signed through 2007, had received a one-year deal in October after leading the Blue Jays to a 20-30 record following Carlos Tosca’s firing. Gibbons started as Toronto’s bullpen catcher in 2002. … Cantu was held without a hit for just the second game in 21 games this season. … The Devil Rays have lost 11 of their last 14 in Toronto.

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