09/25/2003 11:11 PM ET
Rays bested by Delgado, Jays
Lugo homers in fourth straight game
By Stephanie J. Geosits / Special to MLB.com
TORONTO -- Carlos Delgado homered four times and practically beat the Devil Rays on his own on Thursday night, driving in six runs in Toronto's 10-8 triumph at SkyDome.
The Rays (61-98) dropped three of their four games against the Jays this week, but won the season series, 11 games to eight.
Delgado ripped his fourth homer of the night -- becoming only the fifth player in AL history to accomplish the feat -- off Lance Carter (7-5), who blew the Rays' third save opportunity of the contest. Carter ultimately gave up three home runs, and two home runs, in the inning.
"What [Delgado] accomplished is pretty impressive," said Tampa Bay catcher Toby Hall, who had a bird's-eye view of the power display.
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella wasn't expecting Delgado to take away Tampa Bay's 8-7 lead in quite that fashion when the lefty slugger stepped into the batter's box in the eighth.
"Three [homers] is certainly enough," Piniella said.
Eric Hinske tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly before Mike Bordick homered to left to give Toronto a two-run cushion heading into the ninth.
"We had the lead, and sometimes you try and try and it just doesn't work out," Rays shortstop Julio Lugo said.
That proved true on Thursday, particularly when Delgado was at the plate.
Delgado joined three other players in league history who homered four times in consecutive at-bats. His first long ball put him in the record books -- he became the 98th American League slugger to hit 300 or more home runs.
By the end of the night, he was up to 303.
"You appreciate everyone you hit," Lugo, who homered in his fourth consecutive game, said. "It's not easy."
"It was a Herculean effort," Piniella said. "Delgado is capable of getting in those grooves."
Trever Miller (2-2) recorded the four final outs for the victory.
In the top of the eighth, Carl Crawford scored on a Rocco Baldelli single to give Tampa Bay an 8-7 lead. He singled and stole second against Dan Reichert.
Tampa Bay's leads did not last long on Thursday -- Delgado never gave them a chance.
When Delgado faced Joe Kennedy in the sixth, he hit his third homer of the night, knotting the score at six.
"It was fun to watch," Kennedy said. "I tried to come in. I've had success against Delgado in the past. I threw a curve ball a foot off the plate that he hit out. All you can do is tip your cap to him. You can't do much except be a spectator."
A solo homer by Aubrey Huff to lead off the seventh put Tampa Bay ahead once more. But in the bottom of the frame, Travis Harper hit Orlando Hudson with a pitch, then gave up an RBI hit to Reed Johnson to even the game at seven.
Huff's homer, his 34th of the season, tied Jose Canseco's club record.
Devil Rays starter Jorge Sosa allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits, two walks and two homers, but left the game with a 6-5 lead after the Rays scored five in the top of the sixth. He gave up a pair of Delgado's homers.
"I didn't try to do something different," Sosa said through an interpreter. "This year, I always pitched aggressive. This year I pitched good games against Toronto, but today against Delgado, the ball stayed out in the middle of the plate."
Travis Lee doubled and scored in the second to cut Toronto's edge to 3-1 after Sosa surrendered a three-run blast to Delgado in the bottom of the first.
Delgado homered to lead off the fourth. Hinske walked, advanced on a passed ball and groundout and scored on a ground-rule double by Orlando Hudson to put Toronto up, 5-1.
Lugo led off the sixth with a homer, his fourth in as many days at SkyDome, to make the score 5-2.
"Lugo can swing the bat," Piniella said. "He's a strong little kid. He's got pop in his bat. He's doing a nice job."
Aubrey Huff followed Lugo with a triple to chase starter Pete Walker from the game. Lee and Damian Rolls drew one-out walks from Vinnie Chulk, setting the stage for Marlon Anderson. Anderson cleared the bases with a triple and scored on a Toby Hall single to give the Devil Rays a five-run inning and a 6-5 edge.
Anderson finished the game with four runs batted in, two shy of Delgado.
"I don't know that feeling, but I do know that it's a once in a lifetime-type thing," Piniella said of Delgado's performance. "It's pretty amazing."
Stephanie J. Geosits is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.