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Skidding D-Rays help Blue Jays salvage rough homestand

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays salvaged what was once a winless homestand with a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Gregg Zaun hit a three-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, and the Blue Jays completed the sweep with a 7-4 victory on Thursday.

Toronto started its homestand 0-5 against the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles.

"I'm pretty happy with where this team is sitting at this point, especially with the difficulty of the schedule we've had early on," Zaun said.

The Blue Jays (12-11) next go to New York and Baltimore on a six-game trip.

"Baltimore put it on us pretty good. We got a little payback in mind," Zaun said. "It's nice go on the road with momentum."

Toronto outscored the Devil Rays 23-11 in the series and swept them at home for the first time since July 23-25 last year. The Blue Jays are 3-0 since replacing hitting coach Make Barnett with first base coach Mickey Brantley.

Tampa Bay tied a season-high with its fourth straight loss and dropped to 1-7 on the road.

"You know what I'd like to see? Some wins. I think everybody would like to see that," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.

Toronto starter Josh Towers (2-1) settled down after allowing three runs in the first and wound up giving up three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

Towers has had his problems in the first before.

"I didn't have that here we go again feeling," Towers said. "I knew that I was throwing the ball good enough. It worked out. I put up zeros the rest of the game."

In the ninth, Justin Speier retired the first batters before allowing a double to Alex Sanchez and an infield single to Chris Singleton. Miguel Batista came on and allowed an RBI infield single to Nick Green before retiring Carl Crawford on a foul popup for his sixth save in seven chances.

Down 3-0 in the sixth, the Blue Jays sent 10 batters to the plate. Corey Koskie and Shea Hillenbrand hit consecutive singles, and Eric Hinske had a two-run double. After Alex Rios chased starter Doug Waechter (0-1) with a single, Piniella brought in Casey Fossum, who gave up the homer to Zaun, his first batter.

Reed Johnson added a two-run single off Danys Baez in the eighth.

Waechter gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"He pitched good for five innings, but they got to him in the sixth," Piniella said. "He threw the ball fine. This kid has just got to learn how to get through the third and fourth time through the lineup. That's been a problem."

Tampa Bay scored in the first on Julio Lugo's RBI single, and run-scoring doubles by Travis Lee and Jonny Gomes.

Notes

  • Toronto has won 12 of its last 15 home games against Tampa Bay.
  • Tampa Bay C Charles Johnson returned to the lineup after missing three games with a strained right shoulder.
  • The Devil Rays, on a six-game trip, play at Baltimore this weekend.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Toronto

A. Rios
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Toronto

G. Zaun
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF5120013 .266
Julio Lugo, SS4111001 .295
Aubrey Huff, DH4000013 .263
Travis Lee, 1B4111020 .262
Jorge Cantu, 2B4000012 .278
Jonny Gomes, RF4011010 .313
Alex Sanchez, CF4110011 .270
Charles Johnson, C3000000 .286
   a- Chris Singleton, PH1010000 .308
Nick Green, 3B4021010 .310
Totals374940810 
a-singled for Johnson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Carl Crawford (4, Towers), Travis Lee (5, Towers), Jonny Gomes (1, Towers), Alex Sanchez (2, Speier)
RBI - Julio Lugo (10), Travis Lee (9), Jonny Gomes (4), Nick Green (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jonny Gomes (1), Nick Green (2)
SB - Carl Crawford (5, 3rd base off Towers/Zaun), Julio Lugo (8, 2nd base off Towers/Zaun)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Lee-Lugo-Waechter
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Doug Waechter (L,0-1) 5.1844210 5.93
Casey Fossum (BS,1) 0.1211101 4.38
Travis Harper 1.1000020 3.95
Danys Baez 1222210 3.27
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Waechter 87-53, Casey Fossum 15-8, Travis Harper 16-11, Danys Baez 27-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Waechter 7-7, Casey Fossum 1-0, Danys Baez 1-1
Batters Faced - Doug Waechter 25, Casey Fossum 4, Travis Harper 4, Danys Baez 7
Toronto Blue Jays
Frank Catalanotto, LF3010001 .270
   a- Reed Johnson, PH-LF1012100 .279
Orlando Hudson, 2B5010004 .284
Vernon Wells, CF3000202 .207
Corey Koskie, 3B5120022 .230
Shea Hillenbrand, DH4120002 .402
Eric Hinske, 1B4112023 .289
Alex Rios, RF4220002 .321
Gregg Zaun, C3113101 .317
Russ Adams, SS3110101 .216
Totals3571275418 
a-walked for Catalanotto in the 6th
Batting
2B - Eric Hinske (4, Waechter), Alex Rios (3, Baez), Russ Adams (3, Waechter)
HR - Gregg Zaun (3, Fossum)
RBI - Reed Johnson 2 (10), Eric Hinske 2 (15), Gregg Zaun 3 (16)
SB - Alex Rios (2, 3rd base off Baez/Johnson), Russ Adams (1, 2nd base off Baez/Johnson)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Russ Adams (4, Wild throw), Gregg Zaun (2, Wild throw)
Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Towers (W,2-1) 6.2631060 4.61
Vinnie Chulk (H,2) 1.1000020 3.09
Justin Speier 0.2211000 7.56
Miguel Batista (S,6) 0.1100000 2.70
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Towers 100-68, Vinnie Chulk 21-12, Justin Speier 18-11, Miguel Batista 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Towers 7-8
Batters Faced - Josh Towers 27, Vinnie Chulk 4, Justin Speier 4, Miguel Batista 2
Game Information
Attendance - 21409
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Dan Iassogna