ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Reed Johnson started and ended his
night in grand fashion.
Johnson homered twice, including a three-run shot to cap
Toronto's nine-run ninth inning, and the Blue Jays beat the Tampa
Bay Devil Rays 13-4 on Friday night.
"You look at the score, you don't think it was a close game,"
Johnson said. "We battled basically all the way to the end of the
Johnson, who came in with just one home run this season, had his
second career multihomer game. He was inserted into the lineup
because Vernon Wells sat out with a shoulder injury.
"For us to be able to get a win and get Vern another day off
and hopefully get him back in the lineup tomorrow, that's good for
us," Johnson said.
Wells missed his second straight game because of left shoulder
inflammation. He took batting practice and could return Saturday.
Johnson hit a leadoff homer in the first and Shea Hillenbrand
had a solo shot one inning later as the Blue Jays took a 2-1 lead.
Hillenbrand had an RBI double and Gregg Zaun a sacrifice fly to put
Toronto ahead 4-1 in the sixth.
Casey Janssen (4-3) gave three runs and three hits over 5 1-3
"It was a weird one," Janssen said. "We got the leadoff guy
on (in the ninth) and it kept going from there. I loved getting the
runs during a tight game. That was unbelieveable ninth inning."
Russell Branyan homered for Tampa Bay, which has lost nine of
11. Seth McClung (2-7) allowed four runs and five hits in five-plus
innings. He lost three consecutive starts, giving up 14 runs over
"We had played a good game up til the ninth inning," Devil
Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We just imploded."
Tampa Bay pitchers threw 70 pitches in the ninth, giving up
seven hits and four walks. The Devil Rays bullpen allowed nine runs
and 10 hits overall in four innings.
"Those guys can hit," Maddon said.
Branyan stopped an 0-for-12 slump and got the Devil Rays within
4-3 on a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. He has four
homers in his last eight games.
Devil Rays left fielder Carl Crawford was out of the lineup with
a sore left knee, but hoped to play Saturday. Crawford injured his
knee Thursday night when he was thrown out at the plate while
attempting to complete an inside-the-park homer.
"We dodged a bullet there," Devil Rays executive vice
president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.
The announced crowd was 9,463. Five of the last 12 meetings
between the teams at Tropicana Field has seen announced attendance
Friedman said 2B Jorge Cantu (broken bone in left foot)
should return Monday or Tuesday. ... OF Rocco Baldelli (left
hamstring strain) may be back in seven to 10 days. ... Johnson's
homer was his first leadoff shot this season and fifth overall. ...
Johnson's other multi-homer game was on June 15, 2003 against the
Chicago Cubs. ... The Blue Jays' nine runs in the ninth was the
21st time the Devil Rays have allowed four or more runs in an
inning. ... Every Blue Jays' batter reached base in the ninth and
at least twice in the game.