Fossum has never quite lived up to the hype that surrounded him when he was the jewel of Boston Red Sox’s farm system four seasons ago. The 27-year-old hurler has been traded twice since, spending 2004 in Arizona before earning a spot in Tampa Bay’s rotation this season.
Fossum is an unimpressive 23-34 with a 5.00 ERA in five seasons in the majors. However, the young southpaw has pitched relatively well for Tampa Bay, going 5-8 with a 3.94 ERA in 24 games, including 13 starts. He’s 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA over his last three starts.
The Devil Rays, who have won five of their last seven games, hope Fossum can duplicate teammate Scott Kazmir’s gritty performance from Thursday.
Kazmir struggled early, but rebounded for his third consecutive win as Tampa Bay overcame a five-run deficit to beat Kansas City 10-5.
A 21-year-old left-hander, Kazmir gave up five runs—all in the first two innings—and seven hits over seven innings. However, he struck out a career-high 10 and walked three. He gave up just one hit and one walk over his final five innings.
Carl Crawford hit a two-run homer in Tampa Bay’s five-run fifth inning, giving the speedy outfielder career highs of 12 home runs and 56 RBIs.
Tampa Bay is 9-5 since the All-Star break. Thursday’s comeback was the Devil Rays’ biggest this season.
“They had some good at-bats,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “They deserved to win.”
The loss snapped Kansas City’s two-game winning streak. After this series, the Royals will play three in Boston.