Pirates 7, Devil Rays 2

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PITTSBURGH (AP)—Mark Redman gave the Pittsburgh Pirates another solid start, and this time his teammates helped him win it.

Plagued by poor run support all season, Redman allowed two runs in seven innings Friday night, and Jason Bay and Daryle Ward each drove in three runs in a 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Bay hit a two-run triple in the fifth inning and Ward added a two-run double with two outs in the seventh. Pittsburgh won for the eighth time in 11 games to move within one game of .500.

“As a hitter, it’s nice to get some runs for Mark Redman. He’s been pitching his butt off every day, and we’ve let him down more than a few times,” Bay said.

Redman (4-4) extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings before allowing two runs in the seventh. Redman, who pitched eight scoreless innings June 4 in his previous start, struck out two and did not walk a batter while winning for the third time in his last four decisions.

In the six games Redman has started and the Pirates have lost, they have scored just 10 runs and been shut out twice.

“He’s been pitching great all season, and it felt good to get him some runs so he can pitch comfortably,” Ward said.

Tampa Bay has lost six straight and 11 of its last 12 games.

Hideo Nomo (3-6) allowed four hits in six innings, striking out two and walking four, two intentionally. He failed in his third attempt to record his 200th career victory in the Japanese and major leagues combined.

The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after a walk and a hit batsman set up sacrifice flies by Bay and Jose Castillo and gave Redman some breathing room.

“Then I could just go out there and throw strikes, go after them and see how far they can hit it,” Redman said.

Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella was impressed by Redman, who hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in seven home starts.

“He knows how to pitch,” Piniella said. “He changes speeds, he pitches to both sides of the plate and he throws strikes.”

Center fielder Tike Redman helped his pitcher by taking a potential game-tying home run away in the fourth inning when he leaped above the wall to catch Jorge Cantu’s two-out drive with Carl Crawford on first.

“That was a great defensive play by Tike on that fly ball,” Mark Redman said. “He bailed me out of that inning, and it really picked me up.”

Said Cantu, “I saw him sprinting back there in a hurry, and I knew he was going to make a play on it. Boy, it’s so frustrating not being able to get Nomo his 200th win, because it means so much to him.”

After Tike Redman and Bay singled in the seventh off reliever Trever Miller, Ward hit a two-out double past a charging Crawford in left field.

Tike Redman tripled off the right field wall with one out in the fifth inning. After an intentional walk to Rob Mackowiak, Bay drove a ball off the center field wall to score Redman and Mackowiak. Bay then scored on Ward’s sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead.

The Pirates are the only team in the majors with an extra-base hit in every game this season.

“That is pretty amazing, especially because we don’t have a big bopper out there,” Bay said. “That’s what we have to do—we all have to contribute.”

Tampa Bay’s runs came on a one-out double by Cantu and a single by Toby Hall.

Notes

Crawford was caught stealing for just the third time in 19 attempts during a failed hit-and-run in the first. … The Pirates are 47-66 all-time in interleague play and Tampa Bay is 53-78. The Devil Rays are 0-7 this season, the only AL team without a win. … Mackowiak, who entered the game with the best average in the majors since May 3 (.419), went 2-for-3.

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