Devil Rays rough up Mays, Twins

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —Aubrey Huff got the big hit the Tampa Bay Devil Rays needed.
Huff hit his first major league homer, a three-run drive in a five-run first-inning, as the Devil Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 10-4 Thursday for their fifth win in six games.
“Obviously, there’s not a better feeling in the world than hitting a home run,” Huff said. “It’s even a better feeling to hit one in the big leagues.”
Tanyon Sturtze (3-2), making his second start for Tampa Bay, struck out seven in seven innings, allowing two runs and seven hits.
“I’m not worried about the hits to innings stuff,” Sturtze said. “I just want to get people out. When they got a groove like that going, I just want to get them in there hitting as soon as possible.”
The Devil Rays (50-63) reached 50 wins in 113 games, the fastest in team history and five fewer than last year.
“I think the most important thing here is not to forget why we came here,” said Gerald Williams, who hit a solo homer. “We want to see the Devil Rays win.”
Minnesota’s Joe Mays (6-14), lasted just five batters and got only one out, walking three and hitting one.
“The balls weren’t over the plate,” said Mays, who saw his ERA rise from 4.95 to 5.94. “There is nothing else really to say about it. I didn’t throw the ball over the plate.”
Mays, who is from nearby Bradenton, made his first start at Tropicana Field.
“It’s a shame, he had a lot of people here,” Twins manager Tom Kelly said. “Obviously, he couldn’t get the ball over the plate. Joe just didn’t give us a chance to win.”
The outing was the shortest in 45 career starts for Mays and was the first time in 436 Devil Rays’ games that the opposing starter got chased in the first inning.
“Sooner or later it will come around,” Mays said. “It can’t keep going like this.”
Mays has dropped three straight starts, allowing 12 runs in nine innings.
Williams tied his career best with his 17th homer, coming on the Devil Rays’ second hit of the game in the fifth inning. Danny Ardoin homered for Minnesota, the first hit of his major league career.
Williams walked leading off the game and stole second. Miguel Cairo walked, Greg Vaughn struck out and the runners advanced on a wild pitch. Fred McGriff walked, loading the bases, and Mays hit Jose Guillen, forcing in a run.
“Gerald started the game with a good at bat and was a little disruptive on the bases,” Tampa Bay manager Larry Rothschild said. “I think that played into some of the wildness. We had good at bats and Aubrey ended up hitting the ball out of the park.”
Jason Ryan relieved and Steve Cox hit a sacrifice fly and Huff, in his 21st career at-bat, homered to center.
“I just went up there swinging first pitch, got a curve ball right there and got the good part of the bat on it,” Huff said.
Huff has started seven games since he was brought up from the minors on Aug. 1.
“What I’m thinking right there, eventually somebody is going to have to get a pitch to hit and be ready for it,” Rothschild said. “We need to capitalize on those things when they happen. You’ve got to take advantage of that, it doesn’t happen very often.”