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Stewart's blast highlights seven-run fifth inning

TORONTO (AP) -- Shannon Stewart didn't want to think about what wasting a 10-run lead would feel like.

Stewart hit a three-run homer in a seven-run fifth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays held on for a 12-10 victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday, sending the Devil Rays to their 15th loss in 16 games.

Stewart's homer off Steve Kent gave the Blue Jays an 11-1 lead, but the Devil Rays rallied with seven runs in the sixth and two in the ninth.

"We're relieved it's over,'' Stewart said. "You really don't want to lose a game like that. You can maybe handle blowing a three-run lead, but if you blow it today you're not coming into tomorrow feeling good. It can be something that can cause a team to go into a funk.''

Tampa Bay, with the worst record in the majors at 29-66, has
lost a team-record 13 in a row on the road and seven straight
overall. The Devil Rays have the major leagues' longest road skid
since Philadelphia dropped 14 straight in 1997.

Tampa Bay committed four errors for the second straight game, tying a season high.

"It wasn't a good game by either side,'' Devil Rays manager Hal McRae said. "When you are a team that is down, and you get back in it, you have to be happy.''

After the Blue Jays scored seven runs in the fifth, the Devil
Rays rallied with seven in the sixth, highlighted by two-run
singles from Chris Gomez and Carl Crawford.

"You don't see seven scored in the bottom and then seven scored in the top very often,'' Toronto starter Steve Parris said. "It was ugly.''

Parris (3-2) won his third straight start, allowing five runs on
four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked four.

"I felt like I had a dead arm,'' Parris said.

Toronto has won four in a row and eight of nine.

The Devil Rays scored two in the ninth before Kelvim Escobar
struck out Jared Sandberg with the bases loaded for his 18th save
in 23 chances.

Luis De Los Santos (0-1), making his major league debut, allowed
nine runs -- eight earned -- in four-plus innings.

The Blue Jays scored four in the first, then sent 10 batters to
the plate in the fifth.

Chris Woodward hit an RBI double, and Ken Huckaby added an RBI infield single that scored Eric Hinske. De Los Santos threw wildly to home for an error on the play, scoring Woodward.

Kent relieved and committed a balk, scoring Josh Phelps. Dewayne
Wise followed with a grounder to Kent, who threw to third base in
an attempt to get Huckaby.

Huckaby slid in safely, Wise reached and Kent was charged with
an error.

Stewart followed with his fifth home run.

"From top to bottom it wasn't pretty,'' Toronto reliever Brian
Bowles said. "But we got the win.''

Parris loaded the bases in the sixth, then got two quick outs
before the Devil Rays scored seven runs.

After Gomez hit a two-run single, Crawford hit a two-run single
for his first major league hit. Huckaby, Toronto's catcher, then
committed a passed ball and a throwing error, scoring two runs.

Andy Sheets followed with an RBI double, cutting Toronto's lead
to 11-8.

Jesus Colome's run-scoring wild pitch in the seventh made it

The Blue Jays scored four in the first on Jose Cruz Jr.'s sacrifice fly, Carlos Delgado's RBI double, Hinske's run-scoring grounder and Woodward's RBI double.

Game notes
The Devil Rays designated left-hander Doug Creek and
outfielder Dave McCarty for assignment, and optioned infielder
Jason Smith to Triple-A Durham. Smith, who tied a club record with
three errors in Friday's 11-8 loss to Toronto, hit .200 with one
home run and six RBIs in 26 games for Tampa Bay. ... Toronto has
won 10 of its last 12 at home to rebound from a 15-24 start at
SkyDome. ... Stewart went 2-for-2 with two walks and a
hit-by-pitch. ... Toronto pitchers walked nine.