TORONTO (AP) -- Even though its team-record winning streak ended
at 12 games, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays think they'll keep on
benefiting from their spurt.
"It should give us confidence for the rest of our schedule. We
turned our season around," manager Lou Piniella said after Reed
Johnson's 10th-inning RBI single gave the Toronto Blue Jays a 2-1
victory Wednesday night.
The Mets took a gamble in trading for Victor Zambrano. Now he must deliver for them.
"I'm proud of the way this team played," Piniella said. "You
can't keep something like this going forever."The Devil Rays had not lost since the San Francisco Giants beat
them 7-3 on June 8. It was the longest winning streak in the major
leagues since Arizona won 12 straight from June 18-30 last season.A win would have put the Devil Rays (33-35) at .500."The streak showed that we can compete in the American
League," Tampa Bay starter Victor Zambrano said. "We're going to
keep showing we can win a lot of games."Toronto trailed 1-0 but tied the score in the eighth when
Zambrano bounced a wild pitch after Alex Rios singled, stole second
and took third on a groundout.In the 10th, Dave Berg led off with a single off Jesus Colome
(1-1), Frank Menechino walked on four pitches and Howie Clark
sacrificed. Johnson then singled up the middle, scoring
pinch-runner Chris Woodward."We knew we were going to lose sooner or later, but you hate to
lose that one with the game being so close," said Tampa Bay
outfielder Carl Crawford, who also thought his team proved
something. "They are not going to take us lightly anymore."Jason Frasor (3-2) pitched the 10th to complete a six-hitter for
Toronto, which stopped the Devil Rays' road winning streak at
eight."We didn't want them leaving with 13 or 14 in a row. We're
desperate for wins, too," Frasor said.The Blue Jays won despite missing injured sluggers Carlos
Delgado and Vernon Wells. Toronto had put runners on second and
third with two outs in the ninth, but Colome got Rios to ground to
third.Tampa Bay went ahead in the third against AL Cy Young Award
winner Roy Halladay when Carl Crawford doubled and scored on a
single by Robert Fick.Zambrano, who has won four straight decisions, allowed one run
on four hits in a season-high eight innings and threw 128 pitches.
Halladay gave up one run and five hits in seven innings, striking
Yankees manager Joe Torre selected Blue Jays manager Carlos
Tosca to be a coach at next month's All-Star game in Houston. ...
Tampa Bay 1B Tino Martinez missed his third straight game because
of tightness in his left hamstring. Piniella said Martinez won't
play until the weekend.