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Game Report 09/09/07; Toronto at DEVIL RAYS

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RAYS 3, Toronto 2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 1
DEVIL RAYS 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 X 3 8 0


Win Probability table courtesy of Fan Graphs.
Rays Cap Winning Homestand with Shields Masterpiece

St. Petersburg-Jamie Shields pitched seven strong innings of two-run baseball while Carl Crawford and Carlos Peña hit back to back home runs in the sixth inning to put the Rays out in front. Brendan Harris got the scoring started in the second inning off of Tampa Bay native and former Rays batboy Jessie Litsch when he hit a solo shot in the second. The Rays would end up hitting three home runs on the day, all solo shots, in the win.

Toronto countered in the top of the following inning on a run-scoring groundout that plated Aaron Hill, who scored both Toronto runs on the game. The subsequent Toronto score put them out in front in the fifth inning, and it came via Hill's 15th home run. The Blue Jays' second baseman accounted for two of the team's four hits on the day, all of which came off of starter Jamie Shields. Shields walked none and struck out five on the day as he won his 12th game of the year.

That win was ensured in the sixth inning when Carl Crawford led off with a long fly ball off of the 'C' ring catwalk that was ruled a home run by the umpiring crew. The 'C' ring catwalk encircles the field and is the third from the top; any fair ball that strikes it is ruled a home run as per stadium ground rules. Crawford's tying blast was immediately followed up by Carlos Peña's 38th of the year, the go-ahead shot that capped the scoring on the day. The blast was Peña's seventh since August 31st to go along with three hits on the day.

Dan Wheeler pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Al Reyes did the same in the ninth for his 23rd save in closing out the ballgame. Tampa Bay finished their homestand 4-2 as it embarks on a 10 day, 10 game road trip starting tomorrow in Boston. The game drew a total attendance of 20,556 on the NFL's opening day, and was completed in a relatively short period of time; a 10 minute delay due to a lighting failure notwithstanding.

Toronto at RAYS
1:40; FSN Florida
RAYS RADIO/WHNZ 1250 AM

PITCHING MATCHUP:

IP ERA K/9 BB/9 K/BB H/9 OPS HR/9 WHIP G/F P/IP
TOR RH Jessie Litsch 82.2 4.03 3.81 2.94 1.30 9.91 .767 0.98 1.43 1.40 15.94
RAYS RH Jamie Shields 200.0 4.01 7.83 1.53 5.12 8.73 .712 1.22 1.14 1.09 14.86

STARTING LINEUPS:

Toronto
CF Vernon Wells
LF Reed Johnson
RF Alex Rios
DH Frank Thomas
1B Matt Stairs
3B Troy Glaus
2B Aaron Hill
C Gregg Zaun
SS John McDonald
DEVIL RAYS
3B Akinori Iwamura
LF Carl Crawford
1B Carlos Peña
DH B.J. Upton
CF Delmon Young
2B Brendan Harris
RF Jonny Gomes
C Dioner Navarro
SS Josh Wilson

BUCS GAMEDAY:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin their 2007 season this afternoon in Seattle, game time is 4:15 ET. That means that it will be one of the late games this afternoon, and those of you in the bay area tv market should be able to pick it up on WTVT Ch. 13, the local FOX affiliate. I am not sure of the national broadcast areas, but conceivably if you are in the Pacific Northwest you should be able to tune in as well. Here's wishing the Bucs the best of luck for a successful 2007 campaign, and don't forget to head on over to Buc 'Em for all game-related chatter. Come for the game, stay for the excellent Bucs coverage provided by our friend and colleague Jerry Scott.

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!