<
>

Gomes has first three-homer game in Devil Rays history

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Jonny Gomes put on a power display that not even Jose Canseco or Greg Vaughn could ever accomplish in a Tampa Bay uniform.

Gomes had the first three-homer game in the Devil Rays' history on Saturday night in a 7-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

"It's an awesome experience," Gomes said. "It's a rush."

Gomes hit solo shots off Zack Greinke (3-13) in the third and fifth innings and another solo homer off Mike MacDougal in the eighth. The rookie has 12 homers in 44 games. Between the majors and Triple-A Durham this season, Gomes has gone deep 26 times.

"Quite a feat," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "He's a strong kid. He takes his hacks up there. A three home run game is an impressive thing."

Tampa Bay began play in the major leagues in 1998 and has played 1,236 games.

Doug Waechter (4-6) won for the first time since June 13 -- a span of five starts -- allowing three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Chad Orvella, Trever Miller, Joe Borowski and Jesus Colome
combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

"Jonny had a special night," Waechter said. "All of our offense did well tonight. The pitchers that came in after me picked me up. It was a team effort."

Gomes was called out for a curtain call by the announced crowd of 11,940 after the third homer and got a postgame shaving cream pie in the face from teammate Travis Lee.

"It was amazing what he was doing," Greinke said.

The victory tied Piniella (1,491-1,391) with Hall of Famer Clark Griffith for 18th place in career wins as a manager. The Devil Rays are 11-5 since the All-Star break, including three consecutive wins over the Royals.

Terrence Long homered for Kansas City. Greinke gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Royals manager Buddy Bell took issue with plate umpire Joe Brinkman over Angel Berroa's at-bat in the ninth in his postgame media session.

"I'll tell you one thing, I'm irriated ... I'm not going to stand for Joe Brinkman, the home plate umpire, disrupting a hitter's at-bat," Bell said. "He misses a pitch and then ends up
calling me all kind of expletives and Angel Berroa is trying to hit. He can call me whatever he wants and get away with it. There's a little bit of a double standard when umpires can do whatever they want and you can't do anything back to them.

"I'm just not going to sit back and just let him call whatever he wants to and think he can get away with it. Especially disrupting a hitter's at-bat. That's unprofessional," Bell said.

Brinkman was unavailable for comment.

Toby Hall had an RBI double and Joey Gathright drove in a run with an infield single in the second to put Tampa Bay up 2-0.

Gomes' third and fifth innings shots, and an RBI triple by Julio Lugo in the fourth gave the Devil Rays a 5-0 lead.

Long homered, Matt Stairs hit an RBI double and Berroa had a sacrifice fly that pulled the Royals to 5-3 in the sixth.

Game notes
Gomes is the first rookie to have a three-homer game since Colorado's Jose Ortiz on Aug. 17, 2001. ... The only other three-homer game at Tropicana Field was by Carlos Delgado, who was with Toronto at the time, on April 4, 2001. ... Gomes has been using the same model bat as Barry Bonds. ... Hall has 10 RBI in his last 11 starts after driving in just one run over his previous 19 games. ... Berroa stopped an 0-for-7 stretch on a second-inning single. ... Waechter has given up 28 homers in 115 1/3 career innings at Tropicana Field. ... Kansas City center fielder David DeJesus has multihit efforts in five of his last six games. ... Greinke is 2-2 since the All-Star break. He went 1-11 before the break. ... Borowski, the one-time Cubs closer, has not allowed a run in 8 1/3 innings since being signed by the Devil Rays on July 11.