Devil Rays 6, Red Sox 5
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Curt Schilling was hard on himself after blowing a four-run lead.
“It was a pathetic display of pitching,” Schilling said Saturday night after he and the Boston Red Sox lost 6-5 to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. “This is a game we shouldn’t lose. It’s the kind of game I don’t lose.”
Travis Lee hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning, rallying the Devil Rays to their second straight win over Boston. The Red Sox swept a three-game series last weekend at Fenway Park, outscoring Tampa Bay 19-3.
Schilling (1-2) blew a 4-0 lead in his third start of the season, giving up six runs, nine hits and striking out five in seven innings. After helping Boston win the World Series last year, he had surgery in November to repair a detached tendon in his right ankle.
“I’d love to have vintage Curt Schilling every single time he goes out there,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He’s trying to work his way back to being that guy right now. It’s just kind of a work in progress. He’ll keep battling. He’ll figure it out.”
Schilling has allowed 16 runs—14 earned—and 28 hits in 17 2-3 innings this season for a 7.13 ERA.
Lee gave the Devil Rays their first lead, at 6-5, with his two-run double on an 0-2 pitch from Schilling with two outs in the sixth.
“I’m making every mistake I can, and I’m making them at the worst possible times,” Schilling said. “I felt horrible in the bullpen. I tried to focus on location because I knew I didn’t have any stuff. It cost us the ballgame.”
Lee was 2-for-26 against Schilling before his double.
“The last time I faced him was four years ago … and I struck out four times against him,” Lee said. “I took two 93s (mph fastballs) right down the middle. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I just got the bat on the ball.”
David Ortiz had his 12th career multihomer game, but the Red Sox lost for the third time in 10 games.
Ortiz hit a solo shot in the third and added a mammoth solo drive that traveled an estimated 455 feet in the fifth. It nearly reached the back wall behind the right-field stands.
Casey Fossum (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Trever Miller replaced Seth McClung in the eighth and struck out his only batter, Mark Bellhorn, with runners on second and third and two outs.
“There’s no better feeling than that,” Miller said. “We come back and hang in there. Fans got to love that. You got to love the underdog … especially an underdog that keeps fighting.”
Lance Carter worked a perfect ninth for his first save. Regular closer Danys Baez was given the day off after pitching in three of the past four games, including 1 2-3 innings in Friday night’s 5-4 win over Boston.
“A lot of big moments out there,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “This is a good feeling.”
Manny Ramirez put the Red Sox up 1-0 with an RBI double in the first. He has driven in 14 runs in his past eight games.
The Devil Rays got one run back in the bottom half on Gonzalez’s double-play grounder. Aubrey Huff’s RBI infield single pulled Tampa Bay to 4-2 in the fourth.
Ortiz’s homer in the fifth extended Boston’s lead to 5-2. Gonzalez cut the deficit to one with his two-run shot in the bottom half.
“We could have easily laid down,” Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford said. “We kept fighting and came back. That’s always a good feeling.”
Tampa Bay starter Doug Waechter allowed five runs and 10 hits in five innings. He was called up from Triple-A Durham on April 14 and was making his first start of the year after replacing Rob Bell in the rotation.
The Red Sox are the only team that hasn’t allowed a first-inning run this season. Boston has played 18 games. … Crawford, the defending AL stolen base champion, has gone a career-long 13 games without stealing a base. He has four this season after swiping 59 in 2004. … Boston 3B Bill Mueller was out of the lineup for the third straight game with flulike symptoms. … Waechter has given up 26 homers in 114 innings during his career.