Eric Hinske hit a three-run homer as the Blue Jays tied a season high with their fifth straight win, beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-2 on Friday night."We are feeling good right now,'' Hinske said. "We're trying to build a contender. Maybe it won't happen right away, but next year we'll be a little better and hopefully, the year after that the Yankees will have to watch out.''Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays, who are
33-28 since the All-Star break.
"We've got a nice, young group of guys,'' Hinske said. "Josh
Phelps crushed the ball last month. He put up 30 RBIs last month
and people said 'Oh my God.' Vernon Wells has been strong all year,
then you got me. Orlando Hudson is a great young player. Chris
Woodward is at shortstop and then you mix in Delgado.''
Toronto ace Roy Halladay (16-7) allowed just two runs on seven
hits in seven innings."If our pitching can be consistent we are going to be in a lot
of games,'' Halladay said. "We have a lot of young position
players that are getting the job done.''The 26-year-old right-hander struck out five and walked three for just his second win in his last seven starts.Kelvim Escobar pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 40 chances.The Devil Rays turned their first triple play in franchise
history in the fifth inning.Dewon Brazelton (0-1) allowed a single to Chris Woodward before
hitting Dave Berg with a pitch. Woodward and Berg then took off,
and Ken Huckaby hit a sharp liner to second baseman Andy Sheets.
Sheets threw to shortstop Chris Gomez at second base for the
second out, and Gomez made the relay to first."Thank God because it could have gotten ugly,'' Brazelton said. "It was a great play. Luck was on my side.''Brazelton lost his major league debut for the Devil Rays, who
are one loss away from becoming the first major league team to lose
100 games in consecutive seasons since the 1977-79 Blue Jays.Brazelton, the third overall pick in the 2001 draft, allowed
five runs on five hits in six innings."I'm not real happy because I gave up five runs and we lost,
but on the other hand I'm excited because I see that I can do it,''
said Brazelton, who learned he was going to majors late Thursday
night.Brazelton walked Shannon Stewart leading off Toronto's first
before Delgado homered with two outs.Steve Cox's RBI grounder in the sixth cut Toronto's lead to 2-1.Brazelton allowed just two hits before Jayson Werth led off the
bottom of the sixth with a double. After Stewart singled, Hinske
hit his 22nd homer, giving Toronto a 5-1 lead."Hinske just never ceases to amaze me. He's a great baseball
player,'' Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford had an RBI grounder in the seventh.
It was the fifth time a triple play has been turned against
Toronto. The last came July 28, 1997, in the second game of a
doubleheader against Milwaukee. ... Hinske went 2-for-4 with a
homer and a double. ... Tampa Bay recently finished a 10-game
homestand with just one win. ... The Blue Jays have won five games
in a row twice before this season.