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Toronto outscores Tampa 23-11 in sweep

TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays salvaged what was once a
winless homestand with a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil
Rays.

Gregg Zaun hit a three-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, and
the Blue Jays completed the sweep with a 7-4 victory on Thursday.

Toronto started its homestand 0-5 against the New York Yankees
and the Baltimore Orioles.

"I'm pretty happy with where this team is sitting at this
point, especially with the difficulty of the schedule we've had
early on," Zaun said.

The Blue Jays (12-11) next go to New York and Baltimore on a
six-game trip.

"Baltimore put it on us pretty good. We got a little payback in
mind," Zaun said. "It's nice go on the road with momentum."

Toronto outscored the Devil Rays 23-11 in the series and swept
them at home for the first time since July 23-25 last year. The
Blue Jays are 3-0 since replacing hitting coach Make Barnett with
first base coach Mickey Brantley.

Tampa Bay tied a season-high with its fourth straight loss and
dropped to 1-7 on the road.

"You know what I'd like to see? Some wins. I think everybody
would like to see that," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.

Toronto starter Josh Towers (2-1) settled down after allowing
three runs in the first and wound up giving up three runs and seven
hits in 6 2-3 innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

Towers has had his problems in the first before.

"I didn't have that here we go again feeling," Towers said.
"I knew that I was throwing the ball good enough. It worked out. I
put up zeros the rest of the game."

In the ninth, Justin Speier retired the first batters before
allowing a double to Alex Sanchez and an infield single to Chris
Singleton. Miguel Batista came on and allowed an RBI infield single
to Nick Green before retiring Carl Crawford on a foul popup for his
sixth save in seven chances.

Down 3-0 in the sixth, the Blue Jays sent 10 batters to the
plate. Corey Koskie and Shea Hillenbrand hit consecutive singles,
and Eric Hinske had a two-run double. After Alex Rios chased
starter Doug Waechter (0-1) with a single, Piniella brought in
Casey Fossum, who gave up the homer to Zaun, his first batter.

Reed Johnson added a two-run single off Danys Baez in the
eighth.

Waechter gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.

"He pitched good for five innings, but they got to him in the
sixth," Piniella said. "He threw the ball fine. This kid has just
got to learn how to get through the third and fourth time through
the lineup. That's been a problem."

Tampa Bay scored in the first on Julio Lugo's RBI single, and
run-scoring doubles by Travis Lee and Jonny Gomes.

Game notes
Toronto has won 12 of its last 15 home games against Tampa
Bay. ... Tampa Bay C Charles Johnson returned to the lineup after
missing three games with a strained right shoulder. ... The Devil
Rays, on a six-game trip, play at Baltimore this weekend.