may be a long way from 500 home runs but the
Tampa Bay Rays
slugger he feels like he's already there.
Pena hit two two-run homers, giving him 200 for his career,
pitched 6 2-3 innings for the win and the Rays beat the
Toronto Blue Jays
7-3 on Tuesday night.
''That was fun when I heard that,'' Pena said of reaching the milestone. ''I was like 'What? Two hundred home runs in the
major leagues?' It would take me a few minutes to count to 200. That's all I know. That's not one, two, three, four, five.
It'll take me a couple of minutes to get there. I'm very happy, I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to be able to actually
do anything like that.
''Maybe it's not 500 but to me it's 500,'' Pena added. ''Maybe to the rest of the world it's not 500 but to me, it feels just
The AL home run leader, Pena went 2 for 5 with four RBIs in his fourth multihomer game of the season. He has more home runs
(37) than singles (35).
Pena has hit six homers in five games and 11 in 17. He's batting .455 (10 for 22) over his current seven-game hitting streak.
''He looks like he's going to hit the ball hard every time he swings the bat right now,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
The Rays, who remained three games behind Boston for the AL wild card, have won eight of 10.
hit solo homers for Toronto (57-67), which has lost 10 of 13 and is a season-low 10 games below .500.
went 3 for 5, raising his average to .346. Bartlett is third in the AL in hitting behind Minnesota's
Shields (8-10), who had lost four of five starts, allowed three runs and eight hits. He walked two and struck out five.
''I didn't have my good stuff tonight,'' Shields said. ''I don't know what it was. I just didn't feel right out there. I battled
through it. It's one of those days where you don't really have anything but, with the team giving me some runs early, it kind
of gave me the confidence just to throw strikes and get hitters our early.''
pitched 2-3 of an inning,
each got one out and
worked the ninth for the Rays, who are 11-3 against the
Toronto took the lead in the first when
singled, stole second and scored when
singled through a drawn-in infield.
Pena put the Rays in front in the second with a two-run drive into the second deck in right off rookie left-hander
The Rays added four more off Cecil in the third.
hit a two-run single and, after a visit to the mound by
, Pena hit a second smash even deeper into the second deck in right.
''He's seeing the ball amazing,'' Shields said of Pena. ''Those two balls he hit were no-doubters. I'm really happy for him
Cecil lost his second straight start, the first time this season he has dropped consecutive outings. He allowed six runs,
five earned, and six hits in 3 1-3 innings, walked three and struck out three.
''Up in the strike zone, he stayed up most of the time,'' Gaston said of Cecil. ''When he's down he pitches pretty good, his
fastball sinks and runs a little bit and his changeup is good down. It looks like he's getting his body out in front of his
arm and he's dragging his arm through.''
Hill hit his 30th homer in the third but Rays outfielder
made it 7-2 with an RBI single off
in the fifth.
Snider cut it to 7-3 with a homer off the center field restaurant on Shields' first pitch of the seventh, his second homer
in three games.
Snider also had the defensive highlight, crashing into the right field wall after making a running catch of
's liner in the second.
NOTES: Rays OF
(sore lower back) was held out of the lineup and is unlikely to play Wednesday, Maddon said. Crawford left Monday's game after
three innings. The Rays are off Thursday and open a four-game series at Detroit on Friday. ... Tampa Bay is 23-23 when facing
left-handed starters. ... Rays Double-A LHP Darin Downs, who suffered a fractured skull when he was hit by a line drive Aug.
17, remains in the hospital but is improving, a team spokesman said. Downs' status will be reevaluated Wednesday. ...
pitchers have allowed 10 or more hits in nine of the past 10 games. ... Toronto is 16-34 against AL East opponents.