Pittsburgh (25-39) at Tampa Bay (23-42)

Thunder in the Vicinity Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 6:15 pm EDT Sat Jun 14, 2003
  • TV: FSPI, FSFL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

If Rob Bell is eager to make an impression in his debut with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the schedule couldn’t have been more kind.

Bell faces the team he has had the most success against as he takes on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Tropicana Field.

Bell, who was called up from Triple-A Durham, is 3-0 lifetime against the Pirates with a 2.50 ERA in three starts. The three wins are his most against any major league team.

The 26-year-old right-hander was 6-4 in 12 starts in the minors, compiling a 4.02 ERA.

Bell previously appeared in 70 major league games with Texas and Cincinnati and has a 16-21 career record with a 5.95 ERA. He made 17 appearances, including 15 starts, for the Rangers last season, going 4-3 with a 6.22 ERA.

The Devil Rays snapped a season-high seven-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory on Friday.

Julio Lugo hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs for Tampa Bay, which responded after manager Lou Piniella said he will dye his hair if the team puts together a three-game winning streak.

The Devil Rays have won two straight six times this season, but have yet to have a three-game run since Sept. 19-21.

“I told the players if they can win three games in a row at any time this year, I’ll dye my hair any color they want,” said Piniella, whose team won by more than four runs for the first time this season. “I told them no purple. It’s got to be a legitimate hair color.”

The Pirates, who lost their sixth straight, scored their lone run on Kenny Lofton’s sacrifice fly.

Pittsburgh had just six baserunners, and managed just one hit.

“It was a disappointing night from an offensive standpoint,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We certainly had a lot of opportunities.”

Jack Wilson, who got the lone hit Friday, is batting just .115 (3-for-26) with one RBI over his last eight games.

STANDINGS: Pirates - 6th place, 11 GB, NL Central. Devil Rays - 5th place, 14 1/2 GB, AL East.

PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Josh Fogg (2-3, 3.92 ERA). Fogg comes in off a 6-5 loss at Atlanta on Sunday during which he gave up season highs of six earned runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.49 ERA in three starts since returning from the DL on May 26. Fogg has never faced Tampa Bay in his three-year career.

DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Bell (no record). Bell, who was released by Texas in March, gave up 10 homers and 15 walks in 71 2-3 innings in the minors this season.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Pirates - Aramis Ramirez, .302 avg.; Reggie Sanders, 8 HRs; Randall Simon, 37 RBIs; Lofton, 43 runs and 13 SBs. Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli, .327 avg.; Aubrey Huff, 14 HRs and 38 runs; Baldelli and Huff, 35 RBIs; Carl Crawford, 15 SBs.

INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Pirates - 1-6; Devil Rays - 2-8.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Pirates - Pittsburgh is 1-9 in June for the first time since 1897. … LF Brian Giles, 0-for-3 Friday, is batting .423 (11-for-26) over his last seven games with two homers and seven RBIs. … The Pirates recalled RHP Ryan Vogelsong from Triple-A Nashville after Friday’s game. RHP Brian Meadows was optioned to Nashville. Devil Rays - INF-OF Damian Rolls, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham before the game, went 1-for-2 with a double Friday. 3B Jared Sandberg was optioned to Durham. … CF Baldelli fouled a ball off his knee Friday and had to leave the game. X-rays were negative, but his status for Saturday is unknown. … Tampa Bay has drawn a major league-low 169 walks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pirates - 16-18 on the road; Devil Rays - 13-19 at home.

INJURIES: Pirates - INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL; RHP Mike Lincoln (shoulder), 60-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL. Devil Rays - SS Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Joe Kennedy (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Fogg Phi vs. R. Bell CWS
10-9 Record 5-4
5.26 ERA 5.52
71 K 44
40 BB 39
1.45 WHIP 1.41