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Blue Jays Soar Over Devil Rays

Brad Fullmer was just a double away from a perfect day.

Fullmer, who went 4-for-4 with a walk and four RBIs, lacked only a two-base hit for the cycle as the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 12-3 on Thursday.

"The biggest thing is I've hit for the cycle twice, and I didn't want anybody else to do it," joked Toronto manager Jim Fregosi.

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Fullmer homered, tripled and singled twice in his third career four-hit game.

It looked like Fuller might get the elusive double in the seventh inning. He hit a liner to left that appeared headed to the fence, but Tampa Bay's Bubba Trammell cut the ball the ball off and Fullmer stopped at first.

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Game Summary

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  • "If it was meant to happen, that ball goes to the wall," Fullmer said. "I stand by my decision. You can't make a mockery of the game for a little glory.

    "I'm not the fastest individual," added Fullmer, who noted he would have been razzed even more if he had been thrown out by 30-feet.

    Fullmer and Jose Cruz Jr. hit three-run homers as Toronto went deep four times in winning its seventh consecutive series.

    "I'm just happy to contribute, drive in some runs," Fullmer said. "This is nice. I haven't been on a team this good. It's fun to show up and contribute every day."

    Frank Castillo (5-5) won his fourth straight start for the Blue Jays, who have won seven of eight and taken over first place in the AL East.

    Castillo allowed three runs and 10 hits over eight innings. The right-hander, who hasn't had a complete game since April 28, 1996, struck out eight and walked two.

    "I was just hoping to keep them down, take it pitch by pitch and not try to get six ots in an inning," said Castillo, who admitted he was tired after working eight innings. "When you try and get ahead of yourself, the next thing you know the bases are loaded."

    Raul Mondesi and Tony Batista hit two-run homers as Toronto took two of three at Tampa Bay, the first stop on a 13-game road trip.

    Cruz hit his second homer in two days and Fullmer had a run-scoring triple during a four-run third. Mondesi's homer made it 10-1 in the fourth, while Batista's shot closed out the scoring in the ninth.

    Toronto has homered in 65 of 79 games and has 133 for the season. The Blue Jays had a team-best streak of home runs in 23 consecutive games snapped Tuesday.

    Toronto's Carlos Delgado extended his career-best hitting streak to 22 games with a first-inning RBI double.

    Mike DiFelice hit a solo homer for the Devil Rays, who are 15-11 since May 31 when they were a season-worst 18 games under .500.

    Cory Lidle (1-3) gave up nine runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings. Tampa Bay has lost back-to-back games for just the second time in the past three weeks.

    "They hit everything I threw," Lidle said. "I didn't fool them at all. They're free swingers and got the best of me today."

    Castillo worked out trouble in the first, third and fourth innings.

    The Devil Rays loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the first, but managed just one run on Bobby Smith's sacrifice fly.

    "It's frustrating, " said Castillo, who walked the first hitter he faced after being given a 4-0 lead. "You know the guys are saying, `Let's go. We give you runs and then you're doing this."'

    Tampa Bay had runners on first and second in the third, but were stymied when Mondesi made a two-out diving catch in right field on a drive by Jose Guillen.

    A fourth-inning Tampa Bay uprising was stopped when Randy Winn lined into a double play with two runners on.

    "We had our chances early on and just didn't get it done," Tampa Bay manager Larry Rothschild said. "They did and it probably reserved the game."

    The Devil Rays left eight runners stranded, including six through four innings.


  • The Blue Jays (44-35) are a season-high nine games over .500.
  • Fred McGriffwho left Wednesday's game after six innings with a right shin bruise, went 1-for-4. He was hitless in three at-bats through five innings with six runners on base.
  • Fullmer has seven homers over the past 15 games.
  • The Devil Rays have homered in a team-record nine straight games.

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