<
>

Lilly wins fifth straight road decision

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Ted Lilly is finding success away
from home.

Lilly (7-4) won his fifth straight road decision, and Eric
Hinske stole home to lead the Toronto Blue Jays past the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays 4-0 on Tuesday night.

The left-hander didn't allow a run over six-plus innings in
improving to 5-0 over his last seven starts away from SkyDome. He
gave up three hits, four walks and struck out three.

"I was a little wild, but I think I got away with it today,"
Lilly said.

Lilly was coming a dismal start last Thursday at home. He
allowed six runs and nine hits in three innings of the Blue Jays'
19-13 loss to Tampa Bay.

"It was pretty embarrassing," Lilly said. "It was hard to get
that last start off my mind. I have to admit that the last five
days, that's what I've been thinking about."

Vinnie Chulk pitched two hitless innings, and Jason Frasor
struck out the side in the ninth to complete the three-hitter.

Hinske stole home on the front end of a double steal during a
two-run first, and the Blue Jays sent the Devil Rays to their third
loss in 19 games. The Devil Rays had scored 29 runs in their
previous two games against Toronto.

"The story tonight was we just didn't score any runs," Tampa
Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "It hasn't happened in a while. It
can happen occasionally. Let's hope it was occasionally."

The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the first. Chris Gomez hit an
RBI single before Hinske stole home.

Gomez headed from first to second on a steal attempt, drawing a
throw from catcher Toby Hall. Gomez was safe, and Hinske scored
from third -- easily beating the throw back to the plate by second
baseman Rey Sanchez.

It was the first time a Toronto player stole home since Raul
Mondesi accomplished the feat on April 17, 2001, against the New
York Yankees.

Josh Phelps made it 3-0 on his fifth-inning solo homer, and Dave
Berg gave Toronto a four-run lead with a run-scoring single in the
eighth.

Lilly didn't allow a hit until Hall singled with one out in the
fifth.

"Just an outstanding performance," Blue Jays manager Carlos
Tosca said. "Early on, he had all three pitches going. The
fastball had real good explosiveness to it. Sharp breaking ball,
good change up."

It was also the fifth when the Devil Rays got their first runner
in scoring position. Lilly worked out of a jam with one out and
runners on first and second, by retiring Sanchez on a fly ball and
inducing a grounder from Carl Crawford.

Tampa Bay also threatened in the sixth, but Julio Lugo flew out
with runners on the corners and two outs.

"Some how, some way, he made the ball look smaller than he did
in Toronto," Tampa Bay's Geoff Blum said. "That's the only way I
can explain it. He was hitting all his spots with every pitch and
did a good job of keeping us off balance."

Lilly was replaced by Chulk with no outs in the seventh after
Tino Martinez was hit a pitch and Hall singled.

Chulk needed just six pitches to end the threat. He struck out
Sanchez and retired Crawford and Blum on flyballs.

John Halama (4-2) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. He had won his previous four decisions, including two
straight starts since joining the Devil Rays' rotation June 18.

"He kept us in the game," Piniella said. "He gave us a
chance."

Halama started and won last Thursday's slugfest. He gave up five
runs and eight hits over five innings in that game.

Game notes
Devil Rays OF Rocco Baldelli, slowed by a sore left
quadriceps, was the DH. He didn't play Monday. ... Toronto C Gregg
Zaun was out of the lineup because of a stiff neck. ... Crawford
took a hit away from Reed Johnson with a diving catch in center in
the first. ... Blue Jays minor league RHP Jamie Vermilyea threw a
seven-inning perfect game Monday for Double-A New Hampshire against
New Britain.