Wednesday, September 15, 2004
AL: Homers, walks cost Martinez vs. Rays
The Associated Press
BOSTON - Rookie Scott Kazmir outpitched Pedro Martinez to lead the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over Boston 5-2 Tuesday night and send the Red Sox to consecutive losses for the first time in more than five weeks.
The Red Sox, who lead the major leagues in runs, were shut out for a season-high 16 straight innings before pinch-hitter Trot Nixon's two-run homer in the eighth off Travis Harper.
Boston, which had cut its American League East deficit from 10 1/2 games on Aug. 16 to three games coming in, had not lost back-to-back games since Aug. 4 at Tampa Bay and Aug. 6 at Detroit.
Martinez (16-6) struck out 10 but walked a season-high five and allowed solo homers to Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli. He left after six innings and dropped to 9-2 at Fenway Park this season.
Kazmir (2-1), a highly regarded prospect acquired from the New York Mets on July 30 for Victor Zambrano, made his fourth major-league start and struck out a season-high nine, including five in a row. He allowed three hits in six innings and walked three.
Danys Baez pitched the ninth for his 16th straight save and 27th in 29 chances this season.
The Devil Rays won their third straight game after losing 12 in a row.
The Red Sox, who began the night 4 1/2 games ahead of Anaheim in the wild-card race, are 16-4 in their last 20 games, with three of the losses against rookies they faced for the first time.
Martinez struggled in the first inning, allowing Crawford's ninth homer of the year and walks to Julio Lugo and Aubrey Huff before retiring a batter. He gave up just two hits the rest of the way: Baldelli's 13th homer in the third and Toby Hall's single in the sixth.
Tampa Bay made it 4-0 in the seventh on RBI singles by Huff off Alan Embree and Jose Cruz Jr. off Mike Timlin. Huff hit an RBI grounder in the eighth.
Boston threatened in the fifth with no outs on a double by Kevin Millar and a walk to Orlando Cabrera. But Kevin Youkilis struck out, Gabe Kapler fouled out and Kazmir picked Millar off second.
Yankees 4, Royals 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Mike Mussina picked the perfect time to regain his touch.
After ending a career-worst five-game losing skid last week, the right-hander held the Kansas City Royals to three hits in eight innings Tuesday night, pitching the New York Yankees to a 4-0 victory. He struck out a season-high 11.
"If I'm going to get hot, this is the time to do it," Mussina said.
He also went eight innings against Tampa Bay in his previous start, giving up four hits and one run.
"I wouldn't say I'm actually hot yet," Mussina said. "But I've thrown the ball well for a couple of games. I've got a couple of more games to go before the postseason and hopefully I can keep going out there."
In another positive for the Yankees, Jason Giambi returned to the lineup for the first time since July 23. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a long drive to the right-field warning track.
Recovering from a benign tumor, intestinal parasite, strained groin and respiratory infection, the 2000 AL MVP is hitless in his last 24 major league at-bats.
Manager Joe Torre said Giambi would be back in the lineup against Kansas City on Wednesday.
"Hopefully, it will come back quick," Giambi said. "But for the most part I took some decent at-bats tonight. It's good to be back with the guys."
Derek Jeter hit a two-run single, helping New York bounce back from a 17-8 drubbing Monday night. The
Tigers 11, Indians 3
Young went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer in the fourth inning off Kyle Denney, who lost in his major-league debut. It was the fourth five-RBI game of Young's career, the first since May 6, 2003, at Baltimore.
Staked to a 9-1 lead, Jeremy Bonderman (10-11) improved to 4-1 with 42 strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA in his last five starts. The 21-year-old right-hander, 6-19 as a rookie a year ago, gave up three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Detroit had 16 hits, three by Omar Infante. Jayson Smith and Brandon Inge also homered.