TORONTO (AP) -- Lou Piniella's new lineup sure looked good.
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.
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
Huff homered in the third, his ninth of the season.
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.
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.