Jays Finish off Rays; Slide reaches Seven
Toronto-The Devil Rays dropped their seventh straight, and eighth in their last twelve as the Toronto Blue Jays used an eighth inning rally to complete the three game sweep.
Aaron Hill continued his tear this weekend against Devil Rays pitching driving a 1-0 pitch from Shawn Camp into the left field retaining wall to break a 3-3 tie. Hill, who came into the series with three home runs all year, hit two this series, both of them the go-ahead blasts.
The Rays got a serviceable, if not spectacular, five innings from spot starter Brian Stokes as they attempt to patch together a rotation for the final two weeks of the season. He surrendered two runs over his five innings of work, walking one and giving up seven hits while striking out three. He was pulled from the ballgame after 84 pitches and stood to get the win after Greg Norton singled home a run in the top of the sixth to give the Rays a 3-2 lead. However Rays reliever Juan Salas came in and served up Toronto catcher Bengie Molina's 16th home run of the year in the bottom half of the inning to dash any hopes of Stokes getting his first major league win.
Delmon Young hit his third home run of the season in the third inning, over the left field fence. He was one of two Rays with more than one hit, with the other being Ty Wigginton.
Shawn Camp got the loss when he served up Hill's home run, and drops to 7-4 on the year. He surrendered five hits in two-thirds of an inning, leading some to question whether manager Joe Maddon's liberal use of him in ballgames is starting to wear him out. Camp has pitched in at least two games of every series dating back to the series at home against Minnesota early this month, and pitched in all three games of last weekend's series against the Oakland Athletics. He is second in the AL to the Yankees' Scott Proctor in games pitched, while his ERA is over a run higher than Proctor's.
This game leaves the Rays at 57-92, and they will need six wins over the final 13 to avoid 100 losses, something they have not done since 2002. They are a half a game worse than Kansas City for the worst record in baseball, and thus the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft. They have never been in sole possession of the worst record in baseball title, and head into their final home week against Baltimore and New York, and their subsequent road week at Boston and Cleveland needing a .462 winning percentage to avoid the century mark. Their current winning percentage is .383.