Devil Rays 4, Giants 3, 10 innings
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—It was only fitting that Jose Cruz Jr. finished his special night with the winning hit.
Honored before the game Wednesday night when he was presented with the Gold Glove award he earned playing for San Francisco last season, Cruz then helped the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Giants 4-3 with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the 10th inning.
If that wasn’t enough to make the occasion special for him, consider this: The Devil Rays also saluted Cruz by passing out mini-bobblehead statues of the outfielder to the crowd of 25,495.
“A night to remember for me, for sure,” said Cruz, who signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in the offseason. “It’s great to beat guys you know and have bragging rights.”
The Devil Rays loaded the bases against right-hander Tyler Walker (4-1) on three walks. Cruz worked the reliever to a 3-2 count, and singled over the first-base bag on the 11th pitch of the at-bat.
“I pretty much decided I didn’t walk in the winning run,” Walker said. “I was going to make him swing the bat. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Danys Baez (2-1) pitched two innings for the victory after blowing a save for the first time in 12 opportunities.
The Giants scored twice in the top of the ninth to make it 3-3, with Michael Tucker driving in one of the runs with pinch-hit single off Baez. The other crossed the plate when Dustan Mohr grounded into San Francisco’s fifth double play of the game.
“He’s lucky he didn’t get beat there,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said of Baez. “We had the bags full in a one-run game. He made a couple of good pitches.”
Shut out by Jason Schmidt for seven innings, the Devil Rays scored on Julio Lugo’s RBI double and Toby Hall’s two-run single to take a 3-1 lead in the eighth. Both hits came off reliever Felix Rodriguez, the third Giants pitcher of the inning.
Schmidt allowed one run and five hits in seven-plus innings in a bid to win his eighth straight decision. The right-hander was pulled after beginning the eighth by walking Cruz, who finished 2-for-5.
“It was a tough win. We never gave up,” Lugo said. “That’s the type of team we are.”
Barry Bonds went 1-for-5 with an eighth-inning single, but failed to add hitter-friendly Tropicana Field to the list of 31 ballparks where he’s hit home runs. He will miss the finale of the three-game series Thursday night to attend a funeral for the mother of a childhood friend in the San Francisco area.
Bonds, who had as many as five at-bats in a game for just the second time this season, is expected to rejoin the Giants on Friday for the start of a weekend series at Baltimore.
Marquis Grissom is 5-for-10 with two RBIs since returning to the Giants lineup Tuesday night after missing two games because of a stomach ailment. The Giants took a 1-0 lead on his first-inning single, but wasted an opportunity to do more damage when Pedro Feliz grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Devil Rays starter Mark Hendrickson worked out of another jam after giving up a double to Deivi Cruz and a single to A.J. Pierzynski in the seventh, getting Todd Linden to pop to third before Neifi Perez grounded into a double play.
Schmidt gave up a triple to Cruz in the first, and singles to Carl Crawford, Robert Fick, Tino Martinez and Lugo, however the Devil Rays killed their chances of scoring early by going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position through seven innings.
Hendrickson allowed one run and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings. He walked fourand struck out two.
Tampa Bay’s Aubrey Huff went 0-for-5, ending a 15-game hitting streak. … Bonds is 3-for-14 lifetime against the Devil Rays with no homers. … Crawford stole his AL-leading 25th base for Tampa Bay. He had gone a season-high eight games without one. … Devil Rays CF Rocco Baldelli was out of the lineup for the second straight night, recovering from a bout with food poisoning. He entered as a pinch runner in the eighth and remained in the game as the DH. … The Devil Rays outrighted RHP Jason Standridge to Triple-A Durham. … Until Wednesday night, the Giants were 22-0 when taking a lead intothe eighth inning.