Share this article

print logo


Lou Piniella could see Tampa Bay's slump coming.

"We need to score more runs. I said that about three weeks before we even cooled off," the Devil Rays manager said. "I was telling you people. Everybody was looking at me like I was Bozo the Clown."

Frank Menechino had three hits, including a solo homer, and the Toronto Blue Jays scored six unearned runs in the third inning of a 7-4 win over the Devil Rays on Friday night.

Tampa Bay has lost four straight and 13 of 18 since moving a season-high two games over .500 on July 3. The team has scored four runs or less in 14 of 18 games.

After the Devil Rays' 12-game winning streak ended last month, Piniella urged ownership to add more players. The Devil Rays have a payroll of $23 million -- the lowest in the majors.

"We're not in the National League," said Piniella, who would like to acquire a hitter for the middle of the lineup.

Reed Johnson also had three hits, and Miguel Batista pitched six strong innings for the Blue Jays, who ended a three-game losing streak.

Batista (9-6) allowed three runs on six hits to win for the seventh time in his last eight decisions at SkyDome. He struck out four and walked two.

Rookie Jason Frasor got four outs for his 11th save in 12 chances.

"We haven't been scoring many runs for most of our pitchers," Johnson said. "Dropping a six-spot in one inning is huge for our confidence."

The Blue Jays trailed, 2-1, before scoring a season-high six runs in the third.

After Menechino led off with a single, Johnson put down a bunt that Aubrey Huff fielded, but the third baseman's throw to first sailed into foul territory for an error, allowing Menechino to score and Johnson to reach third.

Vernon Wells followed with a grounder to Huff, who bobbled the ball for another error. Johnson scored on Carlos Delgado's run-scoring double play. Eric Hinske hit an RBI single, Josh Phelps a two-run double and Chris Gomez an RBI single to give Toronto a 7-2 lead.

"We took advantage of that one inning," Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.

Giants, Bonds shuffle Cards

ST> LOUIS -- Dustin Hermanson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Barry Bonds hit a three-run homer, helping the San Francisco Giants to a 7-4 victory that ended the St. Louis Cardinals' five-game winning streak.

Hermanson (4-3) allowed only a fourth-inning walk to Albert Pujols before Pujols' 28th homer ended his no-hit bid with one out in the seventh. Bonds never moved in left field as the ball sailed far above him -- a drive estimated at 434 feet.

Hermanson, released by the Cardinals last June, gave up two runs on three hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one for his first victory since June 27.

Bonds' 25th homer of the season, and 683rd of his career, gave the Giants a 6-0 lead in the seventh off Jeff Suppan (9-6).

Around the horn

Elsewhere in the American League, Ben Broussard homered on a 3-0 count with one out in the 11th inning, lifting the Indians to a 3-2 victory over the Royals. Broussard took three straight balls from Nate Field (2-2) before driving his sixth home run over the wall in left-center and then getting pounded by his teammates at the plate. The Indians have played more extra-inning games than anyone in baseball, and Broussard's shot made them 8-11 in overtime. . . . Corey Koskie homered and had a season-high four RBIs to lead the Twins to their fifth straight victory, 7-3, over the Orioles. . . . After learning that Magglio Ordonez could miss the rest of the season because of an injured knee, the White Sox beat the Tigers, 6-4, as Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs. Ordonez, a four-time All-Star, went back on the disabled list Friday and could spend up to eight weeks on crutches. The outfielder has a fluid problem in his knee.

Elsewhere in the National League, Orlando Cabrera's sacrifice fly in the fourth ended Montreal's 42-inning scoreless streak against Florida, and Jose Vidro hit a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth to lead the Expos past the Marlins, 2-1. . . . Oliver Perez struck out 11 in seven innings and Craig Wilson drove in two runs to lead the Pirates past the Reds, 6-3. The Pirates are 6-2 since the All-Star break and have won 18 of 24. They improved to 23-23 at PNC Park after starting 9-19 at home this season. Perez gave up five hits and three runs. Jose Mesa worked the ninth for his 28th save. . . . Wes Helms' ninth-inning sacrifice fly plated the winner as the Brewers beat the Astros, 7-6, and snapped a four-game losing streak.

There are no comments - be the first to comment