ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Tampa Bay Devil Rays treated their new owners to a rare victory.
Afterward, manager Lou Piniella met for the first time with some members of a group led by New York investor Stuart Sternberg, whose purchase of 48 percent of the Devil Rays was finalized this week.
“We got a new ownership group and they got their first win. They must think this is easy,” Piniella said, sporting a broad smile.
“This is a real good day for Devil Rays baseball. This man is going to bring a lot to the party, and everybody’s delighted.”
Although managing general partner Vince Naimoli, who owns about 15 percent of the club, will continue to run day-to-day operations, Sternberg eventually will take over control of the team.
He watched his first game from the owner’s box at Tropicana Field and liked what he saw, despite the small crowd of 10,234.
“Even given the size of the crowd, everyone was in the game,” Sternberg said. “I didn’t see anyone leaving.”
Mark Hendrickson (2-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings as the Devil Rays, the only team in the majors that has yet to win consecutive games, won for just the third time in 17 games.
Michael Young had a solo homer and an RBI single for the Rangers, finishing 3-for-5 for his major league-leading 20th multihit game. He raised his batting average to .371 and leads the majors with 56 hits.
Crawford, who went 3-for-4, snapped a 3-all tie with his run-scoring single off R.A. Dickey (4-2). Julio Lugo followed with an RBI double that gave Hendrickson a 5-3 lead, which the Tampa Bay bullpen protected after the starter allowed two runners to reach base to open the seventh.
“It’s a good win. They’ve been hard to come by,” Piniella said. “Now let’s see if we can get that elusive second one.”
Young homered on the third pitch of the game and singled in the third to drive in another run. The leadoff homer was the sixth of his career and second this season.
The Devil Rays responded with three runs in the bottom half with Tino Martinez delivering an RBI double and Jose Cruz following with a run-scoring single. The third run scored when Aubrey Huff grounded into a double play.
Dickey allowed five runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out one and walked three.
“I don’t think I pitched well. But at the same time, I’m not going to say that I was horrendous out there,” said Dickey, who has given up 11 runs and 20 hits in nine innings over his past two starts. “I tried to keep us in it for as long as I could.”
The Rangers, who lost for only the fifth time in 18 games, wasted several opportunities to take control. They had two runners on in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, yet failed to score.
“There was one to win out there today,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said.“We didn’t play as well as we have. That disappointed our players, I know.”
Lugo made it 6-3 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. … Rangers RHP Jeff Nelson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right knee. LHP Brian Shouse was activated from the 15-day DL to fill his spot on the roster. … The Devil Rays recalled RHP Sosa from Triple-A Durham and designated RHP Dicky Gonzalez for assignment. … Cruz was 7-for-72 before his first-inning single, a stretch that dropped his batting average from .414 to.198. … The Rangers have homered in 10 of their last 11 games.