<
>

Lugo, Crawford homer in win

TORONTO (AP) -- Not even a poor outing by their starting pitcher
could derail the Devil Rays.

Tampa Bay extended its franchise-record winning streak to 12
games Tuesday night, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 behind
homers from Julio Lugo and Carl Crawford.

Devil Rays starter Chad Gaudin was lifted after walking four in
the first inning, but four relievers went the rest of the way for a
three-hitter.

The Devil Rays (33-34) went 3-19 from April 25 to May 19, but
they're a major league-best 23-6 in their last 29 games. Tampa Bay
has the longest winning streak in the majors since Arizona won 12
straight June 18-30 last season.

"At the beginning of the season it was terrible. We were just
Tampa Bay," Lugo said. "Now everybody is calling us the stinging
Rays."

Gaudin got just two outs -- the Devil Rays turned a double play
in the first. Travis Harper (2-0) got Chris Woodward to fly out to
end the threat.

Manager Lou Piniella said Gaudin didn't want to come out, even
after a second visit to the mound.

"When I went out to Gaudin the second time he said, 'I can get
him out, Skip," Piniella said. "I said, 'It's the second visit.'
He didn't know the second-visit rule. I started to laugh."

Harper allowed two hits in four scoreless innings. Trever Miller
got the last out of the fifth, Jorge Sosa gave up a run in two
innings and Lance Carter pitched two perfect innings to end it.

Howie Clark homered off Sosa in the seventh, ending a scoreless
streak by Tampa Bay's bullpen at 24 1-3 innings.

Crawford said Tampa Bay's bullpen has improved.

"From a player's standpoint it's gone from a sense of being
nervous to knowing that the job is going to get done," Crawford
said.

Toronto fell 10 games below .500 for the fourth time this
season. The Blue Jays are missing injured sluggers Carlos Delgado
and Vernon Wells.

Toronto starter Pat Hentgen (2-7) lost his fifth straight
decision, allowing four runs and five hits in five-plus innings.

"It was pretty much a grind," Hentgen said. "I didn't have
command."

Lugo led off the fourth with a homer, and Crawford connected in
the fifth. Lugo has homered in his last five games at SkyDome.

After Rey Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth, Crawford hit
an RBI single, giving Tampa Bay a 4-0 lead.

Lugo reached on an infield single in the eighth and scored on a
wild pitch.

Game notes
Tampa Bay outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. is day to day with a
bruised left knee. ... The Blue Jays purchased the contract of RHP
Adam Peterson from Double-A New Hampshire and optioned LHP Jason
Kershner to Triple-A Syracuse.