Devil Rays 8, Red Sox 5

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Casey Fossum likes pitching against the hard-hitting Boston Red Sox.

Fossum held his former team to one run in six innings and Greg Norton homered and drove in two runs, leading the Tampa Bay Devil Rays past the Red Sox 8-5 on Saturday night.

“It’s all about getting ahead of them,” Fossum said. “These guys are very patient. Overall, I think I slowed things down when they had runners on base and controlled the game.”

Fossum (6-4), who started his major league career with the Red Sox in 2001, allowed three hits in winning for the third time in four starts. He struck out five, walked one and hit two batters with pitches.

The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA in four starts against Boston this season. In his other 17 starts, Fossum’s ERA is 5.52.

Norton had an RBI single during a four-run fourth off David Wells (0-2), and hit a solo homer against the Red Sox’s starter two innings later.

Manny Ramirez extended his hitting streak to a career-high 21-games with a two-run homer in the eighth off reliever Jon Switzer that cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 5-4. The homer came after David Ortiz bunted for a base hit to lead off the inning against the Devil Rays’ over-shifted defense that moved third baseman B.J. Upton into the outfield.

“I’m not a bunt specialist … I just had to make sure the ball was past the pitcher,” Ortiz said. “It was funny because I saw B.J. Upton running all the way from left field. He must be tired right now. He got to run out there and then he’s got to run in when he saw the bunt.”

Josh Paul had a two-run double and Ben Zobrist had a sacrifice fly off of Craig Hansen to extend the Devil Rays’ lead to 8-4 in the bottom of the eighth.

“Adding those runs in the bottom of the eighth inning was huge,” Fossum said. “Our offense has been tacking on late, and that takes some pressure off our bullpen.”

Ortiz doubled in a run in the ninth against Brian Meadows, who got Javy Lopez to ground into a double play with the bases loaded in the ninth to end it.

“The main thing about me coming here is helping the team win,” said Lopez, who was acquired in a trade with Baltimore on Friday. “Unfortunately it didn’t happen tonight, but it’s only the second day. I’m glad a game like this happened early with the team rather than later. It’s going to be from now on totally different for me, hopefully.”

Lopez made his first start for the Red Sox and went 0-for-5. He replaced an injured Doug Mirabelli in the third inning of Friday night’s game and went 0-for-4.

Ortiz finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, a night after hitting two homers, but the Devil Rays improved to 6-3 against Boston at home this season.

Wells gave up five runs—one earned—and eight hits over six innings in his fourth start of the season, and second since coming off the disabled list on July 31. He has missed most of the season with knee injuries.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona was encouraged by Wells’ outings, and anticipates he will be able to contribute down the stretch.

“We need him to,” Francona said. “As long as he’s knees are OK, he’ll be fine.”

It was the first time Wells, who is 10-2 in his career against the Devil Rays, has lost to Tampa Bay since June 25, 1999. He had won his previous nine decisions against the Devil Rays.

The Devil Rays didn’t get their first base runner until Damon Hollins led off the fourth with a single that appeared to hit off Wells’ foot. Ortiz, playing first base, was charged with an error for mishandling Carl Crawford’s grounder that put runners on first and second.

Jorge Cantu, mired in a 3-for-31 slump, drove in Hollins with a single to tie it at 1. Norton, Upton and Paul made it 4-1 with two-out RBI singles.

Ramirez put the Red Sox ahead 1-0 on a first-inning sacrifice fly. He has seven homers and 24 RBIs during his hitting streak.


Ortiz, normally the DH, made his 10th start of the season at first base. That allowed LF Ramirez to DH and get a day off from playing on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field. Ramirez has been experiencing knee soreness through the season. … The Red Sox purchased the contract of C Corky Miller from Triple-A Pawtucket and designated RHP Bryan Corey for assignment. Miller was called up because Mirabelli (sprained left ankle) will be out at least three or four days. … Ortiz has three bunt hits this season. … Ramirez moved past Dave Winfield for 26th place on the career list with 466 homers. He has 39 homers and 124 RBIs against Tampa Bay, the most of any Devil Rays opponent. … Tampa Bay LHP Scott Kazmir (left shoulder inflammation) had his first bullpen session. “Everything was good,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. Kazmir could rejoin the rotation next Friday.

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