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Toronto at Tampa Bay

Toronto «2401000018121
Tampa Bay100400000571

Devil Rays' late rally not enough to overcome Big Hurt's grand slam

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Frank Thomas isn't talking numbers as he closes in on 500 home runs.

The 38-year-old slugger hit No. 488 Saturday night, a majestic 453-foot grand slam off left-hander Casey Fossum that helped his new team, the Toronto Blue Jays, beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-5.

"When I get to 500, I'll be happy -- extremely happy," Thomas said. "But I've got my focus somewhere else. I don't want to get caught trying to just get to 500 because that can be a long, long chase. I'm not going to put pressure on myself."

Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus and Reed Johnson also drove in runs for the Blue Jays, who staked right-hander Tomo Ohka to an early 7-1 lead that he was unable to convert into a victory.

Tampa Bay, which rallied to win its previous two games, scored four runs in the fourth inning to cut it to 7-5. Ohka was lifted with the Devil Rays threatening again with one out in the fifth.

Blue Jays reliever Shaun Marcum (1-0) struck out five of the seven batters he faced in 2 1/3 perfect innings to get the victory. Jason Frasor pitched a scoreless eighth and B.J. Ryan got the final three outs for his second save in three opportunities.

Thomas, signed as a free agent after spending last season with Oakland, said he'd ultimately like to wind up with 600 homers. He hit a 3-1 pitch from Fossum (0-1) in the second inning for his ninth career grand slam.

"You go to a new team, you like to get that first one out of the way," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "It was a big one, but he can do that. He's done that his whole career."

Fossum, who missed the final month of last season after having shoulder surgery, allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and hit two batters before being replaced by Gary Glover.

"The pitch to Frank hurt, obviously," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "If he could have avoided that, it would have been a different game."

Ohka gave up a first-pitch, leadoff homer to Carl Crawford in the first inning, then held the Devil Rays in check until Delmon Young singled for Tampa Bay's second hit with one out in the fourth.

From there, things deteriorated quickly for the Blue Jays starter.

Akinori Iwamura walked and one batter later Brendan Harris hit a three-run homer that trimmed Tampa Bay's deficit to 7-4. Ohka made matters worse when he walked B.J. Upton, gave up a double to Crawford and allowed the fourth run of the inning to score on a wild pitch.

Gibbons went to his bullpen when Ohka, clinging to a 7-5 lead, gave up one-out singles to Young and Ty Wigginton in the fifth. Scott Downs walked Iwamura to load the bases, but the Blue Jays escaped the jam when Downs struck out Dioner Navarro and Marcum fanned Harris to end the inning.

Toronto's bullpen allowed one hit over the last five innings.

"You get a big lead, and you cough it up sometimes," Gibbons said. "It's tough to stop that momentum, but we were able to do that."


  • Glaus left the game in the fifth inning with pain in his left heel. Gibbons said he wasn't sure if the third baseman would be in the lineup for Sunday's series finale.
  • Crawford set a Devil Rays record with the sixth leadoff homer of his career, one more than Rocco Baldelli and Randy Winn.
  • Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the first game in Blue Jays history, a 9-5 victory over the White Sox in Toronto.
  • Baldelli, who has been bothered by a sore right hamstring, started in center field. He was the designated hitter in Tampa Bay's first three games.
  • Thomas' grand slam moved him into a tie with Al Kaline for 32nd on the career RBI list with 1,583.
Copyright 2015 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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Frank Thomas takes his time to round the bases after a 453-foot grand slam in the second inning.  (AP)
Frank Thomas takes his time to round the bases after a 453-foot grand slam in the second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game

F. Thomas
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
Tampa Bay

B. Harris
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF5131004 .316
Lyle Overbay, 1B5210104 .294
Vernon Wells, CF3101003 .250
Frank Thomas, DH3124201 .375
Troy Glaus, 3B3001012 .286
    Jason Smith, 3B2010012 .500
Alex Rios, RF5110023 .263
Aaron Hill, 2B4000104 .250
Jason Phillips, C3120111 .667
   a- Gregg Zaun, PH-C0000100 .167
Royce Clayton, SS4121113 .364
a-was walked intentionally for Phillips in the 9th
2B - Reed Johnson (1, Fossum), Royce Clayton (1, Fossum)
3B - Alex Rios (1, R. Lugo)
HR - Frank Thomas (1, Fossum)
SF - Vernon Wells (1)
RBI - Reed Johnson (3), Vernon Wells (4), Frank Thomas 4 (4), Troy Glaus (4), Royce Clayton (1)
2-OUT RBI - Frank Thomas 4 (4)
SB - Reed Johnson (2, 3rd base off Fossum/Navarro)
Team LOB - 12
E - Aaron Hill (2, Misplayed grounder)
Toronto Blue Jays
Tomo Ohka 4.1655312 10.38
Scott Downs 0.1000110 0.00
Shaun Marcum (H,1; W,1-0) 2.1000050 6.23
Jason Frasor (H,2) 1100120 0.00
B.J. Ryan (S,2) 1000000 10.13
WP - Tomo Ohka (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tomo Ohka 83-49, Scott Downs 10-4, Shaun Marcum 29-20, Jason Frasor 23-11, B.J. Ryan 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tomo Ohka 9-4, Shaun Marcum 1-1, Jason Frasor 1-0
Batters Faced - Tomo Ohka 23, Scott Downs 2, Shaun Marcum 7, Jason Frasor 5, B.J. Ryan 3
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF5121012 .353
Carlos Pena, 1B4000011 .000
   a- Elijah Dukes, PH1000000 .333
Rocco Baldelli, CF5000000 .077
Ty Wigginton, DH5010011 .250
Delmon Young, RF4120011 .294
Akinori Iwamura, 3B2110200 .615
Dioner Navarro, C3000113 .100
    Josh Paul, PR-C0000000 .667
Brendan Harris, SS3113115 .333
B.J. Upton, 2B3100133 .400
a-fouled out for Pena in the 9th
2B - Carl Crawford (1, Ohka)
HR - Carl Crawford (1, Ohka), Brendan Harris (1, Ohka)
RBI - Carl Crawford (3), Brendan Harris 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Brendan Harris 3 (3)
SB - Akinori Iwamura (1, 2nd base off Frasor/Phillips)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Carl Crawford 1
DP - Harris-Upton-Pena
E - B.J. Upton (1, Missed catch of throw)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Casey Fossum (L,0-1) 3.2877131 17.18
Gary Glover 2.1000310 0.00
Juan Salas 0.2100100 13.50
Shawn Camp 1.1100120 7.71
Ruddy Lugo 1211100 13.50
IBB - Thomas by Shawn Camp, Zaun by Ruddy Lugo
HBP - Johnson (by Casey Fossum), V. Wells (by Casey Fossum)
WP - Juan Salas (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Casey Fossum 76-46, Gary Glover 46-24, Juan Salas 16-7, Shawn Camp 18-10, Ruddy Lugo 24-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Casey Fossum 4-4, Gary Glover 3-2, Shawn Camp 1-1, Ruddy Lugo 1-2
Batters Faced - Casey Fossum 22, Gary Glover 9, Juan Salas 4, Shawn Camp 6, Ruddy Lugo 6
Game Information
Attendance - 18495
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Doug Eddings