Tampa Bay (31-37) at Arizona (40-31)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 56° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Tue Jun 19, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have had few bright moments in their 10-year history, but they’ve somehow managed to completely frustrate the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Devil Rays look to remain perfect against their 1998 expansion partners when they play the middle game of their three-game set on Tuesday.

The Diamondbacks (40-31), who won the 2001 World Series and have made three playoff appearances in their brief history, are just percentage points behind the wild card-leading Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL this season.

The Devil Rays (31-37), who have finished last in the AL East every year but once, have the fifth-worst record in the AL this season, but have dominated the Diamondbacks in interleague play.

Tampa Bay won 10-2 in Monday’s series opener at Chase Field, and has outscored Arizona 44-17 in winning the first seven games in the all-time series.

“It’s just one of those anomaly things,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “Who knows why?”

Tampa Bay also beat Kansas City seven consecutive times from July 28, 2005-April 16, 2006, but has never won eight in a row over an opponent.

Brendan Harris fell a double shy of the cycle on Monday, and is batting .435 (20-for-46) with four home runs and 14 RBIs in his last 11 road games.

Designated hitter Jonny Gomes homered and drove in two runs, and is 10-for-19 (.526) with four home runs, three doubles and eight RBIs in five games since being called up from the minors.

J.P. Howell (1-1, 3.60 ERA) looks to build off his last outing when he starts for Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

In his first three starts of the season, Howell has alternated good and bad performances. He allowed one run in eight innings to defeat the Royals in his season debut on June 3, but gave up six runs in five innings against Florida his next time out on June 8.

The 24-year-old left-hander was solid again on Thursday, bud didn’t get much help from his bullpen and offense. He gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings, retiring 13 of 15 at one point, but was the hard-luck loser in a 7-1 defeat to San Diego.

“J.P. did a wonderful job,” Maddon told the team’s official Web site. “For the most part, he’s pitched well since he’s been back up. He’s got great makeup, great character and he’s making pitches.”

Howell made his major league debut against the Diamondbacks on June 11, 2005, giving up one run and four hits in five innings of an 8-5 win for Kansas City.

Arizona had a three-game winning streak end with Monday’s loss.

Doug Davis (4-8, 3.70) looks to avoid dropping his third straight start to an AL East team when he takes the hill on Tuesday.

After allowing two runs in 15 2-3 innings in winning consecutive starts over two NL East teams (Philadelphia and the New York Mets), Davis has stumbled in interleague play.

The left-hander gave up five runs and five walks in four innings in a 10-3 loss to Boston on June 8, and followed that up by yielding four runs, six hits and five walks in five innings of a 7-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday.

In his last six starts against the AL dating to 2005, he is 0-5 with a 7.48 ERA.

Davis hasn’t faced the Devil Rays since 2003 while pitching for Toronto, and is 1-1 with a 8.36 ERA in four games - three starts - against them.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Howell LAD vs. D. Davis KC
1-6 Record 13-12
7.59 ERA 4.25
49 K 144
21 BB 95
1.76 WHIP 1.59


Tuesday, Jun 19