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Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2004

Toronto halts Rays’ streak

Tampa Bay stumbles after winning 12 straight

June 24, 2004

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— Even though its team-record winning streak ended at 12 games, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays think they'll keep on benefiting from their spurt.

"It should give us confidence for the rest of our schedule. We turned our season around," manager Lou Piniella said after Reed Johnson's 10th-inning RBI single gave the Toronto Blue Jays a 2-1 victory Wednesday night.

"I'm proud of the way this team played," Piniella said. "You can't keep something like this going forever."

The Devil Rays had not lost since the San Francisco Giants beat them 7-3 on June 8. It was the longest winning streak in the major leagues since Arizona won 12 straight from June 18-30 last season.

A win would have put the Devil Rays (33-35) at .500.

"The streak showed that we can compete in the American League," Tampa Bay starter Victor Zambrano said. "We're going to keep showing we can win a lot of games."

Toronto trailed 1-0 but tied the score in the eighth when Zambrano bounced a wild pitch after Alex Rios singled, stole second and took third on a groundout.

In the 10th, Dave Berg led off with a single off Jesus Colome (1-1), Frank Menechino walked on four pitches and Howie Clark sacrificed. Johnson then singled up the middle, scoring pinch-runner Chris Woodward.

"We knew we were going to lose sooner or later, but you hate to lose that one with the game being so close," said Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford, who also thought his team proved something. "They are not going to take us lightly anymore."

Jason Frasor (3-2) pitched the 10th to complete a six-hitter for Toronto, which stopped the Devil Rays' road winning streak at eight.

Toronto's Reed Johnson hits a game-winning single in the 10th
inning. The Blue Jays defeated Tampa Bay, 2-1, Wednesday in Toronto
to halt the Devil Rays' 12-game winning streak.

Toronto's Reed Johnson hits a game-winning single in the 10th inning. The Blue Jays defeated Tampa Bay, 2-1, Wednesday in Toronto to halt the Devil Rays' 12-game winning streak.

"We didn't want them leaving with 13 or 14 in a row. We're desperate for wins, too," Frasor said.

The Blue Jays won despite missing injured sluggers Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells. Toronto had put runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth, but Colome got Rios to ground to third.

Tampa Bay went ahead in the third against AL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay when Carl Crawford doubled and scored on a single by Robert Fick.

Zambrano, who has won four straight decisions, allowed one run on four hits in a season-high eight innings and threw 128 pitches. Halladay gave up one run and five hits in seven innings, striking out eight.

Indians 9, White Sox 5

Chicago -- Pinch-hitter Ben Broussard had a grand slam in the eighth inning and Ronnie Belliard homered in his third straight game to lead Cleveland over Chicago. Casey Blake and Lou Merloni also hit home runs for the Indians, who have won 13 of 20 to pull two games behind the White Sox for second place in the AL Central.

Paul Konerko homered twice and Aaron Rowand also hit one for Chicago, which has lost six of eight.

Cliff Lee, who is currently appealing a six-game suspension for throwing behind Ken Griffey Jr.'s head on June 13, pitched six solid innings. Lee (7-1) gave up three runs and five hits. He struck out six and walked three.

White Sox starter Mark Buehrle got his first loss since April 20th against the New York Yankees, a span of 12 starts.

Buehrle gave up three straight singles to Victor Martinez, Casey Blake, and Travis Hafner to start the eighth. Mike Jackson relieved, and on his first pitch, gave up a pinch-hit grand slam to Broussard.

Twins 4, Red Sox 2

Boston -- Torii Hunter had a home run and three RBIs to lead Minnesota over Boston, which added Pokey Reese to its long injury list. The second baseman severely sprained his left thumb diving for Luis Rivas' ground-ball single in the second. Reese left the game and X-rays taken at Fenway Park were negative. He then went to St. Elizabeth's Hospital for an MRI exam.

Athletics 7, Angels 1

Anaheim, Calif. -- Mark Redman beat the Angels for the first time in five career decisions, Scott Hatteberg hit a pair of sacrifice flies and the Oakland defeated Anaheim to end a four-game losing streak. Redman (6-3) allowed one run on seven hits, struck out six and walked one in his seventh start against the Angels. Damian Miller's RBI double tied the game 1-all in the fourth inning against Kelvim Escobar (4-4).

Orioles 13, Yankees 2

Baltimore -- David Newhan set career highs with four hits and three RBIs, and Baltimore emphatically ended a lengthy skid against New York. Miguel Tejada homered and drove in four runs for the Orioles, who had lost nine straight against New York, including seven games this year by a combined 70-35 score.

Veteran reliever Jason Grimsley, also played a key role. Making his first appearance since being obtained Monday night in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, Grimsley struck out Ruben Sierra and Tony Clark before Miguel Cairo bounced out to second. For an encore, Grimsley worked a perfect seventh.

Rangers 6, Mariners 3

Arlington, Texas -- Nick Bierbrodt pitched six strong innings to win for the first time in more than two years and Texas won its fifth straight game. The Rangers (39-29) are 10 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1999 season.

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