ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Jorge Cantu and Pete Laforest hit two-run homers, leading the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 Saturday night.

Casey Kotchman homered for the AL West-leading Angels, who had their division lead cut to a half-game over Oakland, which won 12-3 at Baltimore.

Cantu hit a two-run homer and Jonny Gomes had a two-run triple that put the Devil Rays ahead 4-1 in the third. Cantu, who had a career-high five RBIs in Tampa Bay’s 12-8 win Friday, has a team-best 22 homers and 90 RBIs.

LaForest made it 6-1 with his first major league homer, a two-run drive off Paul Byrd (9-9) in the sixth. Tampa Bay is 26-15 since the All-Star break.

Doug Waechter (5-8) allowed three runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings, and Danys Baez pitched the ninth for his 30th save, which matched his career high, set last season.

Byrd gave up six runs and 11 hits in six innings. He is 0-4 in his last seven starts.

Kotchman, a St. Petersburg native, homered in his first pro at-bat at Tropicana Field to put the Angels up 1-0 in the second. Four of his six homers this season have come against the Devil Rays, including a pair off fellow St. Petersburg product Waechter.

Chone Figgins hit an RBI triple and Orlando Cabrera had a sacrifice fly in the eighth off Waechter as Los Angeles closed to 6-3. Joe Borowski relieved with one on and two outs, and retired Valdimir Guerrero on a first-pitch grounder.

Borowski extended his scoreless streak to 21 1-3 innings.

Notes: Cantu has seven homers in his past 14 games. … The Devil Rays remain inclined not to call up 19-year old OF Delmon Young from Triple-A Durham in September when active rosters expand Thursday. … Waechter has allowed 32 homers in 138 innings at Tropicana Field in his career. … Los Angeles CF Steve Finley had his first career two-error game after misplaying a pair of balls. He entered with two errors this season. … Finley went 0-for-4 and has nine hits in his last 63 at-bats.

AP-ES-08-27-05 2337EDT


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