Devil Rays 7, Pirates 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Lou Piniella’s hair color might soon be changing.
The Devil Rays snapped a season-high seven-game losing streak after Piniella said he will dye his hair any “legit color” the players want if the team put together a winning streak.
“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,” the manager said. “I told them no purple. It’s got to be a legitimate hair color.”
The first meeting between the teams in the regular season was delayed 18 minutes by a power outage after the top of the fourth inning when lightning hit Tropicana Field—a domed stadium—and the lights went out.
“Everybody around the dugout was talking, hopefully that will be the thing that will kick all the bad baseball gods out of here,” Tampa Bay right fielder Aubrey Huff said.
Zambrano (3-4) gave up only one hit in seven innings, but walked five, hit three batters and threw a team-record four wild pitches. All that, and only one run scored.
“It’s a baseball game, a lot of things are going to happen,” Zambrano said. “The big thing is being in the game and trying to win the game.”
Lugo hit his second career grand slam off Brian Boehringer in the eighth to make it 7-1. It was the first time this season Tampa Bay has won by more than four runs.
“It’s important just to win,” Lugo said. “By one, by 10, by 11, it doesn’t matter. Wins give the team a lot of confidence. We needed that.”
Piniella made the offer to dye his hair to the Devil Rays, who have not won three in a row all year. They have won two straight six times.
It all came together,” Piniella said. “It’s a nice win.
Piniella has managed 2,519 games. His longest losing streak is 10 games while with Cincinnati in 1991.
Kip Wells (2-3) allowed three runs and six hits over seven innings for the Pirates, who have lost six straight. Pittsburgh is 1-9 in June for the first time since 1897.
“It was a disappointing night from an offensive standpoint,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We certainly had a lot of opportunities.”
The Pirates had six baserunners—coming on four walks and two hit batters— through four innings, but failed to score. Pittsburgh loaded the bases on three walks with two outs in the eighth, but Colome induced an inning-ending flyball from Reggie Sanders.
Lofton remained in the game after he was hit in the left foot by a pitch in the third inning. He bruised his left big toe Tuesday on a foul ball and didn’t play Wednesday … Kendall was hit by a pitch for the ninth time this year and 142 overall in the first inning. … Tampa Bay recalled INF-OF Damian Rolls from Triple-A Durham. 3B Jared Sandberg was optioned to Durham. … Devil Rays CF Rocco Baldelli left the game after fouling a ball off of his left knee in the eighth. Piniella said Baldelli, who has a bruise, will likely sit out Saturday’s game. X-rays were negative. … The Pirates recalled RHP Ryan Vogelsong from Triple-A Nashville after the game. RHP Brian Meadows wasoptioned to Nashvillle.