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GAME OF THE DAY

Molina's Rare Triple Is Worth a Laugh

August 18, 2006|From the Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Bengie Molina had a key home run and left his teammates laughing after his rare triple.

Molina hit a tiebreaking, two-run shot during a four-run eighth inning and came within a double of hitting for the cycle, lifting the Toronto Blue Jays over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 6-2, Thursday night.

Molina, the former Angels catcher, put the Blue Jays ahead against Brian Meadows (2-4) with his 12th homer of the season. He singled in the sixth and hit his third career triple, and first since Sept. 7, 2000, in the second inning.

"They were all yelling," Toronto's A.J. Burnett said of the dugout reaction to the triple. "I was trying not to laugh. Everybody else was laughing. We were hoping for that double at the end of the game, but he didn't get it."

Molina started laughing too after looking at his teammates.

"I saw it through the corner of my eye," he said. "I was laughing so hard. I pointed to them because I saw how excited they were for me. It makes you feel good."

With the chance to hit for the cycle, Molina grounded out in the ninth.

"I was thinking about a double at the end," Molina said. "I didn't want to come out of my swing or out of my way to do it, but I was thinking if I hit a ball in the gap or something I was going."

Burnett (5-5) won his third straight start, giving up two runs and four hits in seven innings.

*

ROUNDUP

at Detroit 4, Texas 2: Kenny Rogers pitched five-plus innings to pick up his first win since July 5 and Carlos Guillen homered. Rogers (12-6), who hadn't won in his previous six starts, gave up two runs and five hits.

at Chicago 5, Kansas City 4: White Sox closer Bobby Jenks got Mike Sweeney to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded and Chicago held its AL wild-card lead.

Baltimore 12, at New York 2: Brian Roberts led off the game with a home run, and Nick Markakis and Fernando Tatis also connected in an Orioles win that left the Yankees staggering heading into their series at Boston. The Yankees lost two of three to the Orioles and have lost seven of 12 overall.

Cleveland 3, at Minnesota 2: Paul Byrd (8-6) gave up seven hits, struck out three and walked none for the victory. Cleveland, which leads the major leagues with 10 complete games, stopped a five-game road losing streak and avoided a three-game sweep.

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