Huff, Upton provide rays of hope

TORONTO (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays moved closer to avoiding
a last-place finish for the first time in their seven-year history.

Aubrey Huff homered and drove in three runs and B.J. Upton hit a
three-run shot in the Devil Rays' 11-4 victory over the Toronto
Blue Jays on Friday night.

Julio Lugo and Tino Martinez each drove in two runs for the
fourth-place Devil Rays, who are four games ahead of the last-place
Blue Jays.

"We tied last year's win mark," said Tampa Bay manager Lou
Piniella, whose club is 63-82. "Hopefully, we'll add a few more to
that total."

Tampa Bay went 63-99 last year, and the AL East standings have
finished the same way for the last six years.

"It would be nice to not finish last," Huff said. "I guess
it's a step up from the year before, but in the grand scheme of
things, both Toronto and us are going home at the end of the

Doug Waechter (4-7) allowed four runs and four hits in 6 2-3
innings in his third start since coming off the disabled list.

Carlos Delgado and Eric Crozier homered for the Blue Jays, who
are a season-worst 27 games below .500 at 60-87.

Delgado hit his 30th home run, becoming the 14th player in major
league history to hit 30 or more in eight consecutive seasons. His
two-run shot in the first hit off the top of SkyDome's Windows
restaurant in center field.

"If you had asked me in spring training about 30-100, I'd say I
should have had that by August. It's been that kind of year," said
Delgado, who struggled in his first two months before missing 33
games with a strained rib cage.

Huff hit his 26th homer off Josh Towers (9-6) in the third,
tying it at 2.

After Lugo hit an RBI double in the fifth, Huff hit a
run-scoring double over the head of right fielder Alex Rios. Two
batters later, Tino Martinez hit a two-run triple to right to give
Tampa Bay a 6-2 lead.

Towers made his first start after missing two weeks with a sore
shoulder and allowed six runs -- five earned -- and six hits in four

In the seventh, Huff singled, and Sean Douglass intentionally
walked Jose Cruz Jr. two outs later. Upton then sent Douglass'
first pitch over the right-field wall to make it 9-2.

"I figured if they are going to walk him, I'd better do
something," Upton said.

The Blue Jays cut it to 9-4 in the bottom of the inning when
Gregg Zaun walked with one out and Crozier homered to right one out

Lugo added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and Toby Hall had an
RBI double in the ninth for Tampa Bay.

Game notes
Toronto RHP Miguel Batista is being moved from the starting
rotation to the closer's role for the last two weeks of the season
in a tryout for next year. Batista went 10-12 with a 4.88 ERA in 31
starts. ... Tampa Bay OF Carl Crawford stole his 56th base in the
first, surpassing the club record he set last year.