Scoring on a balk, a wild pitch, some alert baserunning and a
check swing that produced an RBI grounder, the Devil Rays held off
the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Friday night to win consecutive games for
the first time in nearly a month.
"They're disruptive," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
"When they get on base, they've got some guys that can run."
Jonny Gomes and Julio Lugo drove in runs off rookie right-hander
Casey Janssen (1-3), who also hurt his chances by allowing one
runner to score from third on a balk and another to race home on a
McClung (2-4) gave up a third-inning RBI single to Vernon Wells,
but was barely threatened after that. The right-hander allowed six
hits, struck out six and walked one while allowing two or fewer
runs for the fourth straight start.
"When you don't have runners on base, giving up little hits
here and there doesn't really hurt you," McClung said. "It's just
a matter of time for me, putting something together."
The Devil Rays, coming off a 3-3 road trip in which they won the
series finale at Seattle on Wednesday, had not won consecutive
games since sweeping Kansas City April 14-16 at Tropicana Field.
McClung had not won since beating the Royals in the middle game
of that series.
"It is nice to win, but this is a team game and I'm more
concerned with the team's wins and losses," McClung said.
Ruddy Lugo pitched the eighth for Tampa Bay, and Tyler Walker
worked the ninth for his fifth save in six opportunities. With
runners at the corners, he got pinch-hitter Eric Hinske to ground
into a game-ending double play.
Janssen got his first major league victory last Sunday, limiting
the Los Angeles Angels to one hit in 7 1-3 scoreless innings. The
Devil Rays did more damage in the first alone, beginning the inning
with a single and double and scoring on Gomes' RBI grounder and a
The Blue Jays got one of the runs back in the third when Alex
Rios drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on Wells' RBI
single. McClung held the Blue Jays to two hits after that -- Shea
Hillenbrand's single in the fourth and Lyle Overbay's single in the
sixth -- and Rios finished 0-for-3 to end his career-high 12-game
Tampa Bay pulled away in the fifth when Lugo doubled to drive in
Joey Gathright, who scored from first base with help from Rios, who
fielded the ball in the right-field corner and relayed it to the
wrong cutoff man.
Lugo went to third on the play and scored on a wild pitch by
Janssen, who allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings.
"It's kind of frustrating when they didn't really earn the four
runs," Janssen said. "Kind of feel like we gave them a few and I
gave them a few."
In the sixth inning, Gomes hit a ball onto one of the
catwalks that support the roof at Tropicana Field. He was circling
the bases thinking he had hit a home run, but patient Blue Jays
shortstop John McDonald settled under the catwalk and waited until
the ball rolled off before making the catch for an out. ... Gibbons
and hitting coach Mickey Brantley were ejected in the fifth for
arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Bill Welke. ... Wells
was 1-for-12 lifetime against McClung before his RBI single. ...
When Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir beat Seattle 1-0 on Wednesday, he
became the youngest pitcher to have five wins by May 10 since
Atlanta's John Smoltz in 1989. The left-hander is 22 years, 3
months old. ... Tampa Bay 1B Travis Lee is hitless in his last 29
at-bats with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-24 this
season. ... The Devil Rays improved to 7-8 at home. They're 8-13 on
the road, matching their total number of road wins for the entire
first half last season.