Cantu had four hits, Baldelli added an RBI single and Casey
Fossum pitched six strong innings to lead the Devil Rays past the
Kansas City Royals 9-5 on Saturday.
"I'm starting to get comfortable," said Cantu, who missed 39
games with a broken left foot. "The offense is doing great right
now. I'm just another bat in the lineup. We've got most of our
original lineup back. Rocco and me are trying to get back in the
group. Once this gets going, watch out."
Baldelli missed 2005 and the first two months of this season
because of injuries. He returned Wednesday and got two hits on
"It's just like old days," said Cantu, who had three hits
Friday. "Hopefully, this is the start of something."
Reggie Sanders hit his 300th career home run, a two-run shot in
the ninth for the Royals off Chad Harville. Sanders became the
fifth player in major league history with 300 homers and 300 stolen
bases. Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Andre Dawson and Bobby Bonds are
San Francisco's Steve Finley is one home run shy of the plateau.
"I started thinking about where I came from, Florence, South
Carolina, and where I am today," Sanders said. "It shows the
perseverance through the good and the bad. The home runs are
tougher than the stolen bases. If you've got speed, you've got
speed. Home runs are mistakes. I've been able to hit 300
Greg Norton scored three times and drove in two runs for the
"With Rocco hitting behind me in the lineup, I'm going to get
some good pitches," Norton said. "They'd rather face me than
Toby Hall also had two RBI for Tampa Bay, which scored four
times in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead.
Fossum, making his first start since May 24 because of a
strained left groin, allowed one run and seven hits with two walks
and one strikeout. Fossum (2-2) threw 52 strikes in 82 pitches and
earned his first win since April 28.
"I felt good," he said. "I went out there and just basically
did what I was working on in my last couple of bullpens, just
attacking the strike zone and throwing my good, hard curveball. It
seemed to work. I tried to keep us off the field and tried to get
us back in the dugout as quickly as I could. It was hot out there.
I wanted to get back in the dugout where it was nice and cool. I
felt like I kept them off balance."
The Devil Rays opted to put Fossum on the disabled list for 15
days rather than having him try to pitch through the injury.
"Groins are so sensitive to a pitcher," Fossum said. "You
just can't take a chance. I've seen a couple of guys who've missed
whole seasons because of groins. It is something you don't want to
Sanders, who had not homered since May 26, hit his milestone
shot to left-center on an 0-1 count.
"It is definitely exciting," he said. "With this ballpark,
you never know if it's going to go out. I was excited at first and
then had some tears. It is amazing because you don't know what kind
of emotion you're going to feel."
Wood, making his third start of the season, was pulled after 4
2-3 innings. He gave up four runs, three earned, and seven hits.
Wood was 3-0 as a reliever, but has lost two starts in June.
The Devil Rays got another run off reliever Jeremy Affeldt in
the sixth. Norton and Baldelli led off the inning with walks, and
Branyan singled to load the bases. Norton scored when Hall grounded
into a double play.
The Devil Rays scored twice in the eighth. Norton and Baldelli
led off with singles and Branyan walked. Hall's sacrifice fly to
the left-field warning track scored Norton. Julio Lugo's single
scored Baldelli with the other run.
Cantu led off the ninth with a single, advanced to third on
Wigginton's double and scored on Baldelli's groundnut. Wigginton
scored on Todd Wellemeyer's wild pitch to make it 9-3.
Royals C John Buck was hit by Fossum's pitch leading off
the third, but plate umpire Bob Davidson did not award him first
base, ruling that Buck did not make an attempt to get out of the
way. Royals manager Buddy Bell argued to no avail. Buck ending up
flying out. ... The Devil Rays have a .528 winning percentage
against Kansas City, their best against any AL opponent.