Toronto at Tampa Bay

Final 11th
Tampa Bay
W: M. Batista (4-0) L: D. Waechter (3-6)
HR: TOR - None   TB - None

Blue Jays 3, Devil Rays 1 (11 innings)

CBS wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Gabe Gross loosened up in the tunnel leading to the Toronto dugout, waiting for his chance to get into the game.

When manager John Gibbons finally called on him, the late-inning defensive replacement came through in a big way.

The one-time Auburn quarterback bailed Toronto out of one last jam by throwing a runner out at the plate to end the 10th inning, and John McDonald snapped an 11th-inning tie with an infield hit to help the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3-1 Tuesday night.

"Gibby told me that if we took the lead that I was going in, so I'd been up in the tunnel throwing into a net," Gross said. "When I turned it loose, I knew I had made a good throw and just hoped that it got there in time."

Gibbons inserted Gross in left field with runners at first and third and one out, but didn't take credit for the idea.

Instead, bench coach Ernie Whitt and third base coach Brian Butterfield suggested the move.

"I signaled. They keep my toes," Gibbons said. "I'll put it that way."

Tampa Bay's Julio Lugo hit what the Devil Rays hoped would be a game-winning sacrifice fly that the Blue Jays turned into a double play when Gross threw a perfect one-hopper to catcher Ken Huckaby.

Huckaby did a good job of blocking Eric Munson's path to the plate and made the tag.

"Gabe's got a good release, and he's as accurate as anybody you'll see," Gibbons said. "It's his old quarterback days, I think. He's throwing that post pattern over the middle."

Aaron Hill, who tied the game at 1-1 with a sixth-inning RBI single, led off the 11th with a single off Doug Waechter (3-6). Huckaby's sacrifice bunt and Frank Menechino's grounder moved Hill to third before McDonald beat out a high chopper up the middle to drive in the go-ahead run.

Television replays showed McDonald touched the bag just as the ball arrived from shortstop Lugo. Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella stormed out of the dugout and argued the call by first base umpire Ed Rupuano to no avail.

"I knew it was close, but he looked out to me," Piniella said. "The umpire saw it differently."

Reed Johnson followed with a RBI single to make it 3-1. Reliever Miguel Batista (4-0), who worked two innings, retired Tampa Bay in order in the 11th to get the win.

Roy Halladay, trying to join Chicago's Jon Garland as the AL's only 12-game winners, allowed one run and seven hits in nine innings. He struck out seven, but his only walk in his past five starts led to Tampa Bay's lone run in the first inning.

"I thought the pitching was great on both sides," Gibbons said.

Lugo drew the first walk off Halladay in 33 innings and stole second before moving to third on Aubrey Huff's infield hit. He scored when Jorge Cantu hit a grounder back to the mound, and Halladay failed to check the runner at third before throwing to first base for the out.

Devil Rays starter Scott Kazmir made the 1-0 lead stand until the sixth, despite walking three batters to load the bases in the second and giving up a one-out single to Hill and walking Gregg Zaun to put himself into a potential bind in the fourth.

The 21-year-old left-hander managed to get out of the bases-loaded jam by getting McDonald to hit into an inning-ending double play, then escaped in the fourth when Menechino flied to right and catcher Toby Hall picked Hill off second base.

Toronto finally broke through in the sixth when Vernon Wells singled for his second hit off Kazmir and later scored on Hill's RBI single.

The Blue Jays chased Kazmir in the seventh when Orlando Hudson and McDonald singled and both wound up in scoring position when left fielder Carl Crawford misplayed McDonald's hit for an error.

Waechter replaced Kazmir, who allowed one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, and bailed the Devil Rays out of trouble by striking out Johnson and getting Alex Rios to ground out to end the threat.


Halladay has pitched at least six innings in all 17 of his starts. The first inning walk to Lugo was the right-hander's first since June 3, when he walked two during a 6-2 victory at Oakland. ... Lugo's first-inning steal was his 21st. He and Crawford, who has 24, began the night as the only major-league teammates with at least 20 apiece.

Copyright 2017 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

A. Hill
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

V. Wells
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF-RF6011032 .258
Alex Rios, RF3000020 .287
   a- Frank Catalanotto, PH-LF2000002 .289
    Gabe Gross, LF0000000 .208
Vernon Wells, CF5130010 .264
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B5000013 .301
Aaron Hill, 3B4131100 .362
Gregg Zaun, C3010102 .263
    Russ Adams, PR0000000 .237
    Ken Huckaby, C0000000 .127
Frank Menechino, DH3000113 .213
Orlando Hudson, 2B3110214 .242
John McDonald, SS5021002 .286
a-grounded out for Rios in the 7th
2B - Vernon Wells 2 (13, Kazmir, Waechter)
SH - Ken Huckaby (4), Frank Menechino (1)
RBI - Reed Johnson (26), Aaron Hill (22), John McDonald (10)
2-OUT RBI - Reed Johnson (10), Aaron Hill (10), John McDonald (3)
PK - Aaron Hill (1, Kazmir)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Gabe Gross 1
DP - Hillenbrand-McDonald-Halladay, Gross-Huckaby
E - Gregg Zaun (5, catcher's interference)
Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay 9711170 2.40
Miguel Batista (W,4-0) 2100110 2.29
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Halladay 113-79, Miguel Batista 25-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Halladay 14-4, Miguel Batista 2-2
Batters Faced - Roy Halladay 34, Miguel Batista 7
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF5020001 .275
Julio Lugo, SS4100103 .284
Aubrey Huff, DH5020001 .252
Jorge Cantu, 3B4011001 .296
Travis Lee, 1B5010013 .257
Damon Hollins, CF4000020 .271
Jonny Gomes, RF4010022 .300
Toby Hall, C3000011 .267
   a- Eric Munson, PH0000100 .400
    Kevin Cash, C0000000 .188
Nick Green, 2B4010022 .267
a-walked for Hall in the 10th
3B - Jonny Gomes (1, Halladay)
RBI - Jorge Cantu (45)
SB - Julio Lugo (21, 2nd base off Halladay/Zaun)
CS - Aubrey Huff (4, 2nd base by Halladay/Zaun)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Damon Hollins 1
DP - Green-Lugo-Lee, Lugo-Green-Lee
E - Carl Crawford (2, misplayed grounder), Jonny Gomes (2, misplayed grounder), Doug Waechter (3, wild throw)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Scott Kazmir 6.1611460 4.40
Doug Waechter (L,3-6) 4.2522130 5.55
IBB - Hudson by Doug Waechter
WP - Scott Kazmir (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 113-66, Doug Waechter 51-38
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 4-7, Doug Waechter 7-3
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 27, Doug Waechter 19
Game Information
Attendance - 8545
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Jerry Crawford, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor