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Lind's three-run homer lifts Blue Jays over Devil Rays

Sep 29, 2007 - 9:43 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Adam Lind belted a three-run homer and Jesse Litsch hurled six solid innings as the Toronto Blue Jays used a four-run eighth inning en route to a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday afternoon.

John-Ford Griffin also homered for the Blue Jays, who will finish the season vs. the Devil Rays on Sunday.

Lind capped the outburst in the eighth frame with his homer off Tampa Bay reliever Dan Wheeler (0-5), hitting a towering shot to right-center field to give the Blue Jays a 5-1 advantage.

"I'm just going out there and having fun," Lind said. "It's nice to get some at-bats, and I'm trying to take advantage of it. It would be nice if we got to play in October, but that obviously isn't going to happen."

Litsch allowed one run and four hits while striking out three and walking four, but he did not pick up his third consecutive winning decision. He limited the playoff-bound New York Yankees to one run over 7 2/3 innings in Monday's 4-1 win.

"I got my changeup back which was big," said Litsch, who ended the season with a 3.81 ERA - the third-lowest ERA of any Toronto rookie with at least 20 starts. "I was just trying to work both sides of the plate and keep the hitters off balance."

"Litsch finished on a great note," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's had a tremendous year for us. Sometimes, we forget he's only 22."

Five relievers combined to hurl the final three frames, including Scott Downs (4-2), who got the final two outs of the eighth to pick up the win. Brian Wolfe allowed two runs in the ninth but finished out the game in a non-save situation.

Reed Johnson started the decisive eighth by reaching on Tampa Bay shortstop Josh Wilson's throwing error. Matt Stairs then walked and pinch hitter Russ Adams also reached on an error by first baseman Joel Guzman to load the bases.

"We messed it up," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Danny gave up several runs in that inning, but really could have been out of that relatively unscathed. It was just unfortunate."

Aaron Hill followed with a sacrifice fly to snap a 1-1 tie, setting up Lind's homer.

"I leave a pitch up, and the guy hits a home run, that's on me," said Wheeler, who allowed four unearned runs. "It doesn't matter how we get to that point. If I make some better pitches, who knows what happens in that inning?"

Griffin started the scoring with a solo homer - his second career blast and first since 2005 - in the fourth inning for the Blue Jays.

"It was awesome," Griffin said. "He obviously gave me a pitch that I could drive, and I did something with it."

The Devil Rays tied the game in the fifth on rookie Akinori Iwamura's RBI double. Wilson was issued a one-out walk by Litsch and came around on Iwamura's base hit.

Tampa Bay starter Edwin Jackson yielded one run and three hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked five.

"When I got into jams, I found a way to get out of it," Jackson said. "It's pretty good to end the season on a good note but, unfortunately, we couldn't come away with a victory."








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

    BATTERIES: TAM - EDWIN JACKSON, DAN WHEELER (8TH) AND DIONER NAVARRO
    TOR - JESSE LITSCH, BRANDON LEAGUE (7TH), JOE KENNEDY
    (7TH), JASON FRASOR (8TH), SCOTT DOWNS (8TH), BRIAN

    Sep 29 3:44 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AKINORI IWAMURA SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    TORONTO 5 END TOP, 9TH

    Rays vs. Blue JaysSep 29 3:44 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JUSTIN RUGGIANO SCORED DIONER NAVARRO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    TORONTO 5 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J WILSON (.251, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysSep 29 3:40 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ADAM LIND (11) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF DAN WHEELER SCORED MATT STAIRS AND RUSS ADAMS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1, TORONTO 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J GRIFFIN (.400, 1-FOR-2, BB, HR, RBI)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysSep 29 3:28 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY AARON HILL SCORED REED JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ADAMS ON FIRST, M STAIRS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    TORONTO 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A LIND (.235, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysSep 29 3:25 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY AKINORI IWAMURA SCORED JOSH WILSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A IWAMURA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    TORONTO 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J VELANDIA (.356, 1-FOR-2)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysSep 29 2:16 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOHN-FORD GRIFFIN (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF EDWIN JACKSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: C THIGPEN (.232, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysSep 29 2:07 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Bruins Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. Blue JaysSep 28 9:46 PM