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By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 4, 2000


Jays use bat gimmick to bid Rays farewell

DUNEDIN -- The Blue Jays needed just one bat to beat the St. Petersburg Devil Rays.

Dunedin used one Canadian "Sam Bat" to beat the Devil Rays 6-5 in 10 innings Sunday in St. Petersburg's final game in the Florida State League.

Blue Jays designated hitter Josh Phelps used his own bat once, with one down in the ninth, but he struck out swinging.

"I just wanted to feel comfortable up there," Phelps said. "A home run would have won the game."

The Canadian bat was used in Dunedin's other 40 at-bats. Using the model KB 1 -- a 34-inch, 32-ounce piece of Canadian Maple -- the Blue Jays had 12 hits, including three home runs.

"Its durable Canadian Maple," said Peters, who homered on the first pitch leading off the bottom of the first inning.

"Three homers says a lot of the bat," Dunedin manager Marty Pevey said. "We'll probably use the same bat in the next game."

FORT MYERS 3, CLEARWATER 2: Dustan Mohr's two-run single in the sixth put the Miracle ahead for good and helped lock up the second-half championship and a playoff berth.

Joe Thomas pitched two scoreless innings for the win for host Fort Myers. Kevin Frederick struck out two in a perfect ninth to earn his third save.

TAMPA 11, SARASOTA 0: John Rodriguez homered and drove in five for the host Yankees. Shad Whitley pitched four scoreless innings and struck out four for the win.

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