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Hinske's key hit helps Rays rally past Blue Jays

Apr 24, 2008 - 3:55 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Eric Hinske helped the Tampa Bay Rays rally to remain perfect at Disney World.

Hinske hit the go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning to help lift the Rays to a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Rookie Evan Longoria had a game-tying two-run single and Carl Crawford added an RBI base hit in a four-run sixth for Tampa Bay, which has won two straight for only the third time this season.

"We don't know that we're not supposed rally like that," Longoria said. "We only know one thing and that's to keep hitting until the end."

It was also the Rays' second consecutive win at Champions Stadium at the Walt Disney Complex and makes them 5-0 when playing here. The home team swept a three-game series against the Texas Rangers in May 2007 - the first time Tampa Bay has hosted games outside the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.

"There's no quit to our team, I can tell you that," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We just knew it was going to be tough. I give (Tampa Bay starter) Jason Hammel credit, he pitched very well. (Toronto's) a little banged up and I know they were relying on their guy (starter Roy Halladay) to come through but we came out on top."

Toronto held a 3-0 lead thanks to two homers by Matt Stairs and a solid pitching performance through five innings by Halladay (2-3).

However, in the bottom of the sixth, the Rays sent nine men to plate against the 2003 Cy Young Award Winner, scratching out four runs, five hits and a walk verses Halladay.

"It's tough when you get a chance to win it and make pitches like I did, especially after giving up a couple of runs earlier," Halladay said. "To give up five runs is not a quality outing. You get a three-run lead late in the game you can't afford to let it get away. There's no telling how many times you're going to get that chance."

With runners on the corners and one out, Crawford grounded a base hit up the middle to score Dioner Navarro and cut Tampa Bay's deficit to two. With the bases loaded, Longoria hit a sharp single to right three batters later, plating Jason Bartlett and Crawford to knot the game at 3-3.

"Things change when you go around a lineup a couple of times," Longoria said. "I think our plan stayed the same. I can't speak for the other guys, but Halladay left the ball up over the plate and I finally got a pitch I could handle. I was definitely thinking of doing something different than my previous two-at-bats."

"We got the big strikeout against Carlos Pena but then Longoria - he's some kind of hitter," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We saw him in spring training and he doesn't try to do too much. He took a single to right which is a sign of a good one."

Hinske, who had three hits and came up a single shy of the cycle in a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday, then drilled a base hit to right, driving in B.J. Upton for the Rays' first lead of the game. A sacrifice fly by Upton in the eighth inning made it a two-run lead.

Halladay, who gave up five runs, nine hits and a walk, hurled his third straight complete game, the last two of which have been losses.

The four-run sixth made a winner of Hammel (2-1), who allowed three runs, four hits and four walks while striking out two in six innings. It was the second straight win for the Tampa Bay righthander and gave the Rays a 4-0 record in Hammel's four career starts against the Blue Jays.

"It's Roy Halladay and he's been doing this for a long time," said Hammel on being down 3-0 to the Jays' ace. "He goes deep into ballgames. Usually you give him three runs and that's good enough. We were very fortunate to get into him in the sixth and turn it into a win."

Dan Wheeler allowed just two hits over two innings of relief before veteran Troy Percival came on in the ninth to collect his third save of the season, including his second straight over the last two days.

Toronto's Matt Stairs homered in the second and sixth inning off Hammel for the 13th multi-homer game of his career.

"I felt pretty good," Stairs said. "Hitting is one of those things where you get hot and see the ball well. As long as you make good contact, that the most important thing."








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

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY AND GREGG ZAUN
    TAM - JASON HAMMEL, DAN WHEELER (7TH), TROY PERCIVAL
    (9TH) AND DIONER NAVARRO

    HOME RUNS: TOR - MATT STAIRS (2) OFF JASON HAMMEL I

    Apr 23 9:38 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY B.J. UPTON SCORED CARL CRAWFORD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    TAMPA BAY 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.200, 1-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 3, Rays 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 23 9:22 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ERIC HINSKE SCORED B.J. UPTON.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, E HINSKE ON FIRST, E LONGORIA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    TAMPA BAY 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J GOMES (.289, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 3, Rays 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 23 8:53 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY EVAN LONGORIA SCORED JASON BARTLETT AND CARL
    CRAWFORD.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, E LONGORIA ON FIRST, B UPTON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    TAMPA BAY 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E HINSKE (.315, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 3, Rays 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 23 8:50 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARL CRAWFORD SCORED DIONER NAVARRO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRAWFORD ON FIRST, J BARTLETT ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.312, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 3, Rays 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 23 8:42 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MATT STAIRS (3) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JASON HAMMEL SCORED VERNON WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3, TAMPA BAY 0
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R BARAJAS (.222, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 3, Rays 0  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 23 8:29 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MATT STAIRS (2) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF JASON HAMMEL.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1, TAMPA BAY 0
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R BARAJAS (.240, 1 HR, 3 RBI)

    Blue Jays 1, Rays 0  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 23 7:28 PM