TORONTO (AP) -- A day after their club-record 12 game winning
streak ended, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays bounced back in a big way.
Tampa Bay set team records for runs and hits Thursday in a 19-13
rout of the Toronto Blue Jays."It was tough to lose that winning streak, but we came out
today swinging the bats," manager Lou Piniella said.Jose Cruz. Jr., Carl Crawford and Geoff Blum homered for the
Devil Rays, who finished with 24 hits, three more than their
previous mark, set at Boston last July 24. The old club record for
runs was 15.Julio Lugo went 5-for-7 to set a team mark for hits, and Tampa
Bay tied its record with 11 walks."It was one of those crazy games," Lugo said.Every Tampa Bay starter drove in at least one run except Aubrey
Huff and all had hits except rookie Jose Bautisa.It was the most runs in a major league game since last June 27,
when Boston beat Florida 25-8."After a 2-1 game you don't expect 32 runs to be scored,"
Piniella said.Cruz, Crawford, Lugo and Rey Sanchez each drove in three runs
for the Devil Rays, who have won 16 of 19. Tampa Bay finished 8-1
on its winningest trip."The goal was to just come back and get a win," Cruz said.
"We completed a great road trip, the best one in Tampa Bay
history. We were bound to lose one game, but we were able to come
back and close it out. It got a little crazy at the end, but the
final score was nice."Cruz hit his 165th career homer, matching his father's total.
Jose Cruz Sr. played 18 seasons in the major leagues with St.
Louis, Houston and the New York Yankees."I have the bragging rights of the house now. I'll keep this
ball and give my dad the next one," Cruz said.Cruz and Crawford homered in a six-run sixth inning. Cruz
homered off reliever Michael Nakamura, and Crawford hit a three-run
drive against Adam Peterson for a 14-5 lead.Tampa Bay starter John Halama (4-1) won despite allowing five
runs and eight hits in five innings.Orlando Hudson and Dave Berg hit three-run homers in the ninth
off Rob Bell, who earlier allowed solo shots by Eric Hinske and
Kevin Cash. The Blue Jays had 15 hits."Sometimes games just get out of control," Hinske said. "I
think we did a good job of scoring some runs late."Ted Lilly (6-4) gave up six runs and nine hits in three-plus
innings.Tampa Bay scored three runs in the first on Lugo's two-run
single and on Lilly's run-scoring balk, but Toronto got four in the
bottom half on Reed Johnson's RBI double, Orlando Hudson's
run-scoring single and Chris Gomez's RBI double.Sanchez tied it in fourth with an RBI single, and the Devil Rays
took a 8-4 lead in the fourth on Blum's RBI single, Rocco
Baldelli's run-scoring double, Cruz's RBI single and Sanchez's
sacrifice fly.Blum tied the club record for hits and runs with his homer off
Justin Speier in the eighth.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker is to hold a "Welcome Home
Rally" for the Devil Rays when they return home on Friday. It was
the longest winning streak in the major leagues since Arizona won
12 straight from June 18-30 last season. ... Toronto LHP Jason
Kershner cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A
Syracuse. ... Tampa Bay also had 11 walks against the New York
Yankees on June 30, 2000.