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Sunday, May 14 1:15pm ET
Wells wins AL-leading seventh game
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Once the Toronto Blue Jays went ahead, there was no way David Wells wasn't going to be given the opportunity to finish off the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
"He's one of the few guys left in the game that still pitches the ninth inning," Blue Jays manager Jim Fregosi said Sunday after Wells scattered seven hits to win 3-2 for his sixth straight victory.
"It was his game. He's a great competitor. I don't know of anybody except for maybe Pedro (Martinez) and Randy (Johnson) that's pitched any better than him this year," Fregosi added. "He's really doing a spectacular job."
The victory was an AL-leading seventh for Wells (7-1), who retired 21 of 23 batters after falling behind 2-0 in the third inning. He also leads the league with three complete games.
"I felt good. I had momentum going," said Wells, who struck out five and walked none. "The last few innings, I gave up maybe one hit. I was locked in, had good movement on my pitches."
Esteban Yan pitched seven strong innings for Tampa Bay, but Lopez couldn't protect a 2-1 lead in the ninth.
Fletcher also had a two-out, pinch-hit double off Yan to drive in Toronto's first run in the seventh. The drive off the top of the right-field wall scored Gonzalez from first and extended the Toronto catcher's hitting streak to 10 games.
"I just started nitpicking instead of attacking," Lopez said. "I tried to start hitting the corner instead of going after them. I was trying to be perfect."
Wells settled down after giving up a 456-foot homer to Jose Canseco in the second and Greg Vaughn's sacrifice fly in the third. He retired 18 of 19 after allowing a double to Kevin Stocker and single to Gerald Williams ahead of Vaughn's sacrifice fly.
Vaughn, who was 3-for-3 and had the only two hits Wells surrendered in the last six innings, opened the Devil Rays' ninth with an infield single. But he was stranded when Wells retired the next three batters.
Fred McGriff went 0-for-4, ending his career-high 14-game hitting streak. Canseco struck out three straight times after hitting his sixth homer.
"He got me once," Wells said. "I'm not going to let him get me twice."
Canseco's homer to left was the first to strike the facing of the upper deck seating area known as "The Beach" at Tropicana Field.
"He pitched a great game," said Canseco, adding that he struck out on three curveballs that "seemed like they were dropping out of the sky."
"Very few pitchers I give credit," he added. "But I have to give him credit. Consistently, it was the best curveball I've seen in my life. It was just impossible to square off."
The Blue Jays had runners in each of the first seven innings, but were 0-for-7 with men in scoring position against Yan, who in three previous starts at home allowed 17 runs in 16 1/3 innings.
Devil Rays manager Larry Rothschild was ejected in the sixth for arguing with second-base umpire Mike Everett over a call on a steal. The view of the ninth-inning collapse was just as painful from his office.
"It's tough for anybody to watch. Anywhere you watch it," Rothschild said.
"We got to the ninth inning against Wells with a chance to win it. That's all you can ask for," Rothschild added. "You just have to be able to put it away at that point."
Tampa Bay Clubhouse
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