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Rios powers Blue Jays to sixth straight win

Sep 6, 2008 - 3:14 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Alex Rios blasted a pair of home runs and Roy Halladay tossed seven solid frames to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to their sixth consecutive victory, a 6-4 triumph over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

Rios hit a solo shot off starter Andy Sonnanstine (13-7) in the third inning to give the Blue Jays a 4-2 edge. He struck again in the eighth, blasting a two-run homer over the left field wall to provide a 6-3 cushion.

"I guess I'm feeling pretty good at the plate," Rios said. "I'm being a little more patient and swinging at balls I want to swing at."

"Rios had a great night for us," Toronto manager Cito Gaston added.

Halladay (18-9) won his fifth straight start, yielding three runs - one earned - and seven hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

With the loss and the Boston Red Sox's 8-1 win over the Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay's advantage in the American League East was reduced to 2 1/2 games.

"We played hard to the very end," Rays Manager Joe Madden said. "I liked the grit, the effort, etc. ... We had two bad pitches to Rios and that was pretty much the difference."

Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead, scoring a pair of unearned runs in the first after Akinori Iwamura reached on second baseman Joe Inglett's fielding error to lead off the frame. Carlos Pena and Cliff Floyd both delivered run-scoring sacrifice flies in the inning.

Halladay settled down, retiring the next six batters. The righthander did not allow another run until the seventh inning.

While Halladay was keeping the Rays off the scoreboard, Toronto's offense was heating up. Lyle Overbay delivered a two-run, game-tying single in the second and Scott Rolen drove in the leading run with a sacrifice fly.

Rios extended the advantage in the fourth with his first home run of the night, sending Sonnanstine's 2-0 offering over the left field wall. After Tampa Bay cut into the lead in the seventh on Jason Bartlett's RBI infield single, Rios hit his 13th blast.

Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan then collected his 27th save despite surrendering a run-scoring double to Bartlett in the ninth.

"Doc (Halladay) hung in there, just a good game, Gaston said. "Scott (Downs) came out of the bullpen and did a good job and B.J. did too. So it's just teamwork again tonight."

Rays rookie Fernando Perez recorded his first career hit in the ninth, sliding around Overbay to get to first base.

"I was just trying to avoid the tag. I don't even know how close it was," Perez said. "But he wasn't going to get me."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 10 0
    TORONTO 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 2 x 6 7 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - ANDY SONNANSTINE, J.P. HOWELL (7TH), GRANT BALFOUR (8TH) AND
    DIONER NAVARRO, SHAWN RIGGANS (7TH)
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY, SCOTT DOWNS (8TH), B.J. RYAN (9TH)
    AND R

    Sep 5 9:33 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JASON BARTLETT SCORED FERNANDO PEREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARTLETT ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    TORONTO 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.277, 0-FOR-4)

    Rays 4, Blue Jays 6  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 5 9:24 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX RIOS (13) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF GRANT BALFOUR SCORED JOHN MCDONALD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3, TORONTO 6
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.300, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays 3, Blue Jays 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 5 9:15 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Rays 3, Blue Jays 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 5 9:15 PM
  • 55
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 40 roots (Close Finish)

    Rays 3, Blue Jays 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 5 8:53 PM
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    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Rays 3, Blue Jays 4  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 5 8:51 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON BARTLETT SCORED FERNANDO PEREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARTLETT ON FIRST, G GROSS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    TORONTO 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.278, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays 3, Blue Jays 4  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 5 8:50 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX RIOS (12) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF ANDY SONNANSTINE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2, TORONTO 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.302, 1-FOR-1)

    Rays 2, Blue Jays 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 8:00 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LYLE OVERBAY SCORED VERNON WELLS AND ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L OVERBAY ON SECOND, R BARAJAS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    TORONTO 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: S ROLEN (.250, 8 HR, 39 RBI)

    Rays 2, Blue Jays 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 5 7:41 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TAM - ANDY SONNANSTINE
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J INGLETT (.304, 3 HR, 33 RBI)
    J MCDONALD (.217, 1 HR, 17 RBI)
    A RIOS (.295, 11 HR, 64

    Rays 2, Blue Jays 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 5 7:16 PM
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    DDrake Added 10 roots

    Rays vs. Blue JaysSep 5 4:20 PM