Final

Series: Game 2 of 2

Tampa Bay won 2-0

Game 1: Friday, September 24
Toronto2Final
Tampa Bay4
Game 2: Saturday, September 25
Toronto5Final
Tampa Bay6
Game 3: Sunday, September 26
TorontoCanceled
Tampa Bay

Blue Jays 5

(64-90, 26-50 away)

Devil Rays 6

(66-87, 39-36 home)

    6:15 PM ET, September 25, 2004

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 001000022 5 5 2
    TB 310100001 6 6 1

    W: D. Baez (4-3)

    L: M. Batista (10-13)

    Blum's sac fly in 9th wins it

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Geoff Blum gave the Tampa Bay Devil Rays a victory -- with 39 minutes to spare.

    Blum made up for a big error by hitting a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Tampa Bay beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 Saturday night.

    Geoff Blum
    Blum

    With a 9:15 p.m. curfew imposed because of Hurricane Jeanne, both teams came out swinging in a game that took just 2 hours, 20 minutes and ended at 8:36. Hoping to beat the storm, the Blue Jays were scheduled to leave Florida on a charter flight immediately after the loss.

    "I was looking at the radar screen and it's coming quick," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "The sooner we get out of here, the better."

    Even though the Devil Rays play in a dome, Sunday's series finale was canceled because of the hurricane, which was expected to hit Florida's east coast late Saturday or early Sunday. The game will not be made up.

    "If this thing keeps heading west, it's going to be dangerous out there," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "It's the right decision."

    The curfew meant no inning could start after 9:15. And the game appeared headed for extra innings -- and a possible tie -- after Toronto rallied for two runs in the ninth.

    "The game was proceeding so quickly," Piniella said. "We had a two-hour game going into the ninth almost. Then things got interesting. They usually do."

    Blum committed an error on Gabe Gross' two-out grounder to third, allowing the tying run to score. The Blue Jays cut it to 5-4 earlier in the inning when Eric Hinske grounded into a double play.

    Midre Cummings opened the bottom of the ninth with a walk against Miguel Batista (10-13) and went to third when the right-hander was charged with a throwing error on Rocco Baldelli's sacrifice bunt.

    After Julio Lugo grounded out, Blum hit his game-winning fly to center.

    "To come back and have the opportunity to win was probably a blessing," Blum said.

    Batista's walk was his 96th this season, tying former Tampa Bay pitcher Victor Zambrano for the AL lead. Zambrano was traded to the New York Mets on July 30.

    Dewon Brazelton took a two-hitter into the eighth inning for Tampa Bay and Cummings hit his first major league homer in four years.

    Brazelton gave up three runs, three hits and two walks in seven-plus innings. He departed after allowing a single and a walk -- both runners later scored -- to start the eighth.

    Cummings' previous big league homer came on Aug. 18, 2000, with Minnesota at Toronto. Blum also homered for Tampa Bay, which leads Toronto by 2½ games for fourth place in the AL East. The Devil Rays have finished last in all six years of their existence.

    Toronto got a home run from Eric Crozier.

    Aubrey Huff hit an RBI double and Cummings had a two-run homer to put the Devil Rays up 3-0 in the first. Blum made it 4-0 on a solo homer one inning later.

    Crozier pulled the Blue Jays to 4-1 with a third-inning homer.

    Tampa Bay went up 5-1 on Lugo's sacrifice fly in the fourth.

    Travis Harper replaced Brazelton in the eighth and allowed an RBI double to Guillermo Quiroz and Russ Adams' run-scoring grounder, cutting Toronto's deficit to 5-3.

    Danys Baez (4-3) entered with two outs in the eighth and got the win after blowing just his third save in 32 opportunities. He was looking to convert his 19th consecutive chance, which would have tied Roberto Hernandez's team record set in 1999.

    Blue Jays starter Dave Bush gave up five runs and four hits in 3 2-3 innings.

    "It wasn't a pretty game all the way around, no question," Gibbons said.

    Game notes


    Jeanne is the fourth major hurricane to affect Florida this year. "Unbelievable, isn't it?" Piniella said. "This state has really been ravaged. A lot of people have suffered a lot of damage. I hope this one is not too severe." ... The Devil Rays had two games with Detroit postponed by Hurricane Frances earlier this month. Those games are scheduled to be made up with a doubleheader Thursday. ... Toronto is 26-50 on the road this season. It's the most road defeats since the Blue Jays went 21-60 in 1979. ... Brazelton was 0-3 in his previous five starts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES