Devil Rays 8, Red Sox 3
BOSTON (AP)—Curt Schilling was struggling and his perfect record at Fenway Park with Boston was in jeopardy—and he knew Tampa Bay wasn’t going to make his outing any easier.
“You can say what you want about strength of schedule or teams under .500,” Schilling said. “There are no patsies in this league. If you don’t go out and execute, you’re going to get into trouble, and tonight was about execution.”
Aubrey Huff hit one of Tampa Bay’s four homers and the Devil Rays handed Schilling his first home loss this season, snapping a nine-game road losing streak with an 8-3 victory Monday night over the Red Sox.
Schilling was 7-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 11 previous starts for Boston at Fenway.
“I didn’t feel as sharp as usual,” Schilling said after allowing a season-worst three homers in five-plus innings. “I’ve won with worse stuff.”
Toby Hall hit a two-run homer, and Tino Martinez and Julio Lugo each added a solo shot for Tampa Bay, which had been 0-3 and had scored just three runs in 23 1-3 innings against Schilling this season.
“I think he left some fastballs up over the plate,” Huff said. “I think he elevated more than he wanted.”
He was still on the minds—and backs—of many Boston fans. Throughout the stands, there were a number of people—mostly children—wearing white home jerseys with a red “No. 5” on the back, or blue batting practice T-shirts with “Garciaparra” along the shoulders.
John Halama (6-5) won for just the second time in eight starts, giving up three runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings, striking out six without walking a batter. Travis Harper worked two scoreless innings in relief, and Lance Carter pitched the ninth.
Schilling (13-6) allowed six runs and 10 hits. His ERA rose from 3.38 to 3.73.
“Our guys just hung in there and finally started to get to him in the middle innings,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.
“I thought he made more mistakes than certainly usual,” Boston manager Terry Francona said.
Red Sox pitchers have allowed 11 homers the past two games.
Tampa Bay grabbed a 3-1 lead, scoring three runs with two outs in the fifth. Lugo had an RBI double after Carl Crawford doubled. Huff followed with his 21st homer, a high drive into the seats behind the Devil Rays’ bullpen.
Boston cut it to 3-2 in the fifth on Kevin Youkilis’ RBI single, but the Devil Rays chased Schilling in a four-run sixth.
Martinez homered into the right-field seats, his 17th. Geoff Blum singled and Hall followed with a homer into the seats above the Green Monster, making it 6-2.
Terry Adams relieved and struck out his first two batters before Lugo homered off the right-field foul pole.
Youkilis’ run-scoring groundout cut it to 7-3 in the seventh. Crawford’s RBI grounder made it 8-3 in the eighth.
Kapler’s leadoff homer into the seats above the Green Monster gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the third.
Boston slugger Manny Ramirez missed his third straight game with the flu. … Hall has two hits in his last 32 at-bats. The other was a go-ahead grand slam against the Red Sox last Wednesday. … SS Orlando Cabrera and 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, both acquired in the four-team, eight-player trade that sent Garciaparra to Chicago, each made a nice defensive play. … Boston’s David Ortiz needs two RBIs to reach 100 for the second consecutive season. … Eight of Tampa Bay’s 13 hits went for extra bases. … Francona said after the game that RHP Scott Williamson, on the 15-day DL with an elbow strain, won’t throw for a couple of weeks because of “inflammation in the area we’re talking about.”