TORONTO (AP) -- Mark Hendrickson didn't have any regrets about
giving up basketball after winning his first major league game.
The former NBA player allowed just one run on four hits in six
innings, and Carlos Delgado homered twice as the Toronto Blue Jays
won their season-high sixth straight game with an 8-4 victory over
the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday.
"I feel I have some advantages in this sport,'' the 6-foot-9
left-hander said. "I know I definitely made the right decision.''
Hendrickson (1-0), who played with the New Jersey Nets,
Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers from
1996-2000, held Boston scoreless over five innings in his first
major league start last Saturday.
"Obviously, I'm happy with the results,'' he said. "I'm going
to get some game balls and pass them out because there are a lot of
people that have waited a long time for this. It's kind of nice to
get one. My focus is just getting better.''
After the game, Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi
introduced Toronto Raptors players Eric Montross and Michael
Bradley to Hendrickson.
"They were kind of surprised that a guy could go to another
sport,'' said the 28-year-old Hendrickson.
Kelvim Escobar got one out for his 33rd save in 41 chances.
Tanyon Sturtze (3-17) took the loss for the Devil Rays, who lost
in their 148th game and became the quickest AL team to lose 100
since the 1949 Washington Senators did it in their 147th game.
Tampa Bay also became the first team to lose 100 games in
consecutive seasons since the 1977-79 Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay right-handed reliever Delvin James pitched in the
majors just 12 days after being shot three times. James was hit
twice in the left shoulder, and another bullet grazed his left
elbow at a shooting at a Waffle House in Raleigh, N.C.
James, recalled from Triple-Durham on Friday, allowed two runs
on three hits in the eighth and said he didn't experience any pain.
"Just being out there again and knowing I had a chance to be
out there again is a much greater feeling than anything I've ever
experienced,'' James said. "After being shot I didn't think there
was much of a chance that I would pitch again this year, but
miraculously my arm responded well and my body healed really
Hendrickson, the tallest Blue Jays player ever, struck out three
and walked one in his second major league start. A former
Washington State basketball standout, Hendrickson was drafted six
times in baseball but didn't start his professional baseball career
until 1998 with Toronto's Single-A affiliate at Dunedin. He decided
to play baseball full time after a mediocre basketball season with
Cleveland in 2000.
"This is a chance to prove to management that I can be in the
rotation next year,'' Hendrickson said. "I've always known this
would be the sport for me.''
Delgado tied it for Toronto at 1-1 in the second with his 26th
homer, and made it 5-1 in the fifth with his second solo shot. His
19 homers against the Devil Rays are the most by any opponent.
Delgado, who went 3-for-3 with a walk, has three multihomer
games this season and 30 in his career.
Rookie Josh Phelps followed Delgado's homer with his 14th -- the
sixth time the Blue Jays have hit back-to-back homers this season.
Phelps, who went 3-for-3 with a walk and four RBIs, has 40 RBI in
his last 29 games.
"He's been tremendous,'' Delgado said. "The sky is the limit
for him. He's been a nice surprise for us.''
Sturtze, whose 17 losses are the most in the majors and a Devil
Rays' record, allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings.
Sturtze has lost four straight starts after winning two in a row.
"It was a horrible day,'' Sturtze said. "I deserved what I got
Delgado's homer and Tom Wilson's sacrifice fly made it 2-1 for
Toronto in the second. Phelps hit a two-out, two-run single in the
Toby Hall hit an RBI single in the ninth to make it 8-3 and the
Devil Rays added another run on the hit when shortstop Orlando
Hudson made a throwing error.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hendrickson joined
Danny Ainge, Gene Conley, Dave DeBusschere, Dick Grat, Frankie
Baumholtz, Cotton Nash, Ron Reed, Chuck Connors and Steve Hamilton
as those who have played in both the NBA and major league baseball.
... He made 12 relief appearances before the start. He has yet to
allow a homer in 21 2/3 innings this season. ... The Devil Rays are
52 games below .500 for the first time in club history.