Red Sox 6, Devil Rays 4
BOSTON (AP)—One quick tip of the cap wasn’t going to be enough for Curt Schilling this time.
Long after the final out, and long since he left the game, Fenway Park reverberated with chants of “We want Curt!” The Red Sox right-hander finally popped out of the clubhouse to acknowledge the fans—none more excited than the son he named after Lou Gehrig, who turned 11 on Saturday night and asked for victory No. 200 as a present.
“The number’s awesome, and I’m very proud about it,” Schilling said after pitching seven up-and-down innings to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-4 and become 104th member of the 200-win club.
“Just walking on that field after the game is an experience I’ll never forget,” Schilling said of his curtain call. “Those are the things that, when you’re done playing, they last forever, the memories the fans can create for you.”
Schilling (8-2) allowed four runs and eight hits while striking out seven for his fourth victory in five starts. When he left to a standing ovation after seven, he tipped his cap to the crowd and waved to his family, which was cheering him on from a radio booth upstairs.
Schilling wished his son Gehrig happy birthday on the scoreboard during the second inning. The family, watching from a radio booth behind home plate, held up a sign that said, “Go Dad!” during the game and “200” after.
“Five days ago I pitched on my daughter’s ninth birthday and she wanted a win,” Schilling said. “So it was kind of like there would have been a problem in the house if I had won for one and not the other.”
Schilling is eighth on the active victory list; former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez was the last pitcher to surpass the 200 victory milestone, making it earlier this year with the New York Mets. Schilling is the fourth pitcher to win his 200th game in a Red Sox uniform, joining Lefty Grove, Ferguson Jenkins and Luis Tiant.
“He just knows what to do,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s kind of a clinician out there, I think. Any young pitcher can learn from him. Even an old pitcher can learn watching him.”
Seth McClung (2-6) allowed six runs, seven hits and five walks, striking out none in five innings as Tampa Bay lost for the fifth time in six games. McClung was 0-3 against Boston last year, allowing 12 runs in nine innings.
The Red Sox have won three straight and eight of their last 12.
The 39-year-old Schilling went 1-2-3 in three innings and faced just four batters in two others. But he gave up back-to-back doubles in the second and Josh Paul’s single one out later to give the Devil Rays a 2-1 lead. Boston scored four in the bottom half and made it 6-2 in the fourth before Schilling struggled again.
“He looked like he got into a comfort zone in some of the innings. It was really effective and efficient,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “In the other innings, they really made him work.”
He gave up two runs and three hits, including a two-run double by No. 9 hitter Joey Gathright, before getting the first out in the fifth. But Schilling got Julio Lugo to line out to right, Carl Crawford to pop up to third and then celebrated with a fist pump when he struck out Toby Hall with a 94 mph fastball to end the inning.
J.T. Snow singled to lead off Boston’s four-run second, and two outs later Kevin Youkilis walked. Mark Loretta singled in one run and took second on the throw; with first base open and Ramirez sitting out, Maddon called for an intentional walk of David Ortiz.
Nixon doubled in two runs, and Ortiz scored on a wild pitch.
Tampa Bay 3B Aubrey Huff was ejected in the eighth for arguing a close call at first base. … OF Coco Crisp hit a two-run single in a rehab start at Triple-A Pawtucket. … Devil Rays OF Jonny Gomes did not start. He is 0-for-15 with 11 strikeouts against Schilling in his career. … Red Sox LHP David Wells might not miss a turn in the rotation despite leaving his last start after taking a line drive off his knee, Francona said. Francona said an MRI showed nothing more than a bruise. Wells will be re-examined this weekend. … Ramirez missed his first game of the season because of a sore back, and center fielder Wily Mo Pena also was out of the lineup because of a sore wrist. Youkilis played left and Willie Harris started in center. Youkilis had never played outfield in the majors…. After the game, the Devil Rays placed LHP Casey Fossum on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 25, with a left groin strain. They recalled RHP James Shields from Triple-A Durham and named him the starter for Tuesday’s game in Baltimore.
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