Series: Game 3 of 4

Tampa Bay leads 2-1 (as of 7/16)

Game 1: Thursday, July 14
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Game 2: Friday, July 15
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Game 3: Saturday, July 16
Tampa Bay6Final
Game 4: Sunday, July 17
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Devil Rays 6

(30-62, 10-36 away)

Blue Jays 5

(45-46, 23-19 home)

    4:07 PM ET, July 16, 2005

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

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    TB 031200000 6 12 1
    TOR 003002000 5 9 1

    W: M. Hendrickson (4-6)

    L: J. Towers (6-8)

    S: D. Baez (15)

    Crawford moves one spot, delivers three RBI

    TORONTO (AP) -- Lou Piniella's new lineup sure looked good.

    Carl Crawford homered and drove in three runs from his new spot in the order, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays held on for a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

    Piniella decided Friday to drop Crawford from the leadoff spot to second. Joey Gathright went 3-for-5 as the leadoff hitter.

    Aubrey Huff -- dropped to fifth in the order -- also homered for the last-place Devil Rays, who have won two of three since the All-Star break but just three of their last 15 overall.

    "We put six runs on the board. If we can do that every night, that's the lineup we'll keep using," Piniella said to laughter. "I thought C.C. in the second spot looked good, also Gathright in the No 1. hole is bunting, which we wanted him to do."

    Crawford prefers hitting second.

    "I'm probably better suited for the two hole because I don't think I get on base as much as you would like," Crawford said. "It's more relaxing. You're not thinking about drawing a walk."

    Former Blue Jay Mark Hendrickson (4-6) benefited from the new lineup, winning for the first time since June 23 despite allowing five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. The 6-foot-9 left-hander walked three and struck out three.

    Piniella visited Hendrickson in the third inning when Toronto cut the lead to 4-3.

    "I tried to refocus him," Piniella said. "It was a simple message. I said 'What did they hit?' and he said 'this' and I said, 'Well, try something different!' "

    Danys Baez pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 21 chances.

    Alex Rios hit a career-high three doubles for the Blue Jays, who have lost four of five since ace Roy Halladay broke a bone in his lower left leg. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.

    Toronto starter Josh Towers (6-8) is 1-7 in his last 11 starts. He tied a season high by allowing six runs and a season-high 10 hits in just four innings.

    Towers has been tagged for 14 runs and 27 hits in 14 innings in his last three starts.

    "I try to stay positive and joke around, but you should have seen me when I came in here," Towers said. "It doesn't look like it, but I destroyed some stuff."

    Tampa Bay jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second on Toby Hall's RBI single and consecutive run-scoring singles by Gathright and Crawford.

    Huff homered in the third, his ninth of the season.

    The Blue Jays cut it to 4-3 in the bottom half on Rios' RBI double, Vernon Wells' run-scoring triple and Shea Hillenbrand's RBI double.

    Crawford hit a two-run homer to right center in the fourth, giving Tampa Bay a 6-3 lead.

    The Devil Rays appeared to get some help just before the homer from a call by first-base umpire John Hirschbeck. Gathright led off with a bunt down the first-base line that Towers fielded before he dove to tag the runner. Hirschbeck called Gathright safe, although replays showed that Towers tagged him, and that call proved costly when Crawford, the next batter, homered.

    Frank Catalanotto's RBI single and Rios' run-scoring double cut it 6-5 in the sixth.

    Game notes

    The Devil Rays designated struggling right-hander Hideo Nomo for assignment. Nomo went 5-8 with a 7.24 ERA in 19 starts. The 37-year-old said he won't pitch in Japan if he doesn't get signed by another major league team. ... The Blue Jays had a season-high six doubles.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press