for this game

Power show keeps Devil Rays hot

Sep 9, 2007 - 9:45 PM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Tampa Bay found just enough offense to remain one of the hottest teams in baseball.

Brendan Harris, Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena each hit solo home runs to lift the Devil Rays past the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-2, on Sunday.

The win was the Devil Rays' 12th in their last 16 games. Only Texas and Cleveland have a better record since August 24.

"This last month is to prove to ourselves how good we can be," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It's all about the pitching staff. They drive the machine. It's frustrating to look at our record right now."

Harris' 10th blast of the season gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the second before Vernon Wells' groundout pulled Toronto even in the third at 1-1.

With the Devil Rays trailing 2-1 in the sixth, Crawford and Pena led off the inning with back-to-back home runs to chase Toronto rookie starter Jesse Litsch (5-8), who fell to 1-4 in his last five decisions.

"It's so good to win these close ones," Pena said. "It definitely feels good to win the series. We think we are a team that can compete in this division, a team that can fight for a playoff spot."

Devil Rays starter James Shields (12-8) allowed only four hits and two runs with five strikeouts over seven innings. He won his third consecutive decision and for the fourth time in his last five decisions.

"I just go out there every day and just pitch," Shields said. "I'm just out there pitching every fifth day and trying to keep it going. I've had a great season so far and I'm just trying to finish it out strong."

Reliever Dan Wheeler tossed a perfect eighth before handing it over in the ninth to closer Al Reyes, who set down the Blue Jays in order to post his 23rd save in 25 chances.

Toronto threatened to pull even in the seventh when Frank Thomas led off with a double. After Matt Stairs' flied out to right to move Thomas to third, Troy Glaus struck out and Aaron Hill grounded out to Shields to end the inning.

Litsch surrendered all three homers among the seven hits he allowed over five innings.

"Mistake pitches, that's basically all you can say about it," Litsch said. "If you miss your spots, they jump on it. They are good hitters. It was a battle, a definite battle. I started out a little shaky and I just had to battle through it."

Hill had two hits and scored twice for Toronto, which dropped their second straight road series to a division rival.

The game was delayed for 10 minutes in the bottom of the fourth because of a power interruption effecting the lights inside Tropicana Field.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 4 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 x 3 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - JESSE LITSCH, BRIAN WOLFE (6TH), SCOTT DOWNS (8TH), CASEY
    JANSSEN (8TH) AND GREGG ZAUN
    TAM - JAMES SHIELDS, DAN WHEELER (8TH), AL REYES (9TH)
    AND DIONER NAVA

    Sep 9 4:16 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jays vs. RaysSep 9 4:09 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS PENA (38) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF JESSE LITSCH.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, TAMPA BAY 3
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.312, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. RaysSep 9 3:24 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARL CRAWFORD (11) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JESSE LITSCH.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, TAMPA BAY 2
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.275, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. RaysSep 9 3:22 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY AARON HILL (15) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF JAMES SHIELDS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.240, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. RaysSep 9 3:03 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY VERNON WELLS SCORED AARON HILL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MCDONALD ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R JOHNSON (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. RaysSep 9 2:25 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRENDAN HARRIS (10) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JESSE LITSCH.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J GOMES (.246, 15 HR, 41 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. RaysSep 9 2:08 PM