Crawford hit a go-ahead RBI triple in the seventh inning to lead the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to an 11-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. It was third win for Kazmir in 17 starts dating to last season.
“It was good to get Kazmir some runs,” Crawford said. “He’s been struggling a little bit and I think once he saw the game was tied up, he gained a little confidence and started pitching better. It just worked out for everybody today.”
Vazquez left in the seventh after giving up a two-out infield single to B.J. Upton, who had four hits. Crawford greeted White Sox reliever Matt Thornton with an RBI triple to give Tampa Bay a 5-4 lead.
Kazmir (3-2) allowed four runs and scattered eight hits in seven innings, while striking out seven and walking three. It was his longest outing this month.
“I have to go deep in the games. You can’t assume a win after five innings of ball. It’s just not going to happen,” said Kazmir, the club’s opening day starter. “There are a lot of things that could have to do with it. I just have to focus on what I have to do, which is go as deep as I can in the ballgames.”
Vazquez (2-3) allowed five runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
The Devil Rays picked up some insurance runs in the eighth when Mike MacDougal gave up Delmon Young’s two-run single and Nick Masset allowed Upton’s RBI single. Shawn Riggans added a two-run single and Brendan Harris an RBI single in the ninth off White Sox reliever Andrew Sisco.
Sisco was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte after the game, and manager Ozzie Guillen might make more changes to the bullpen.
“We’ve got to do something about it,” Guillen said. “We need to talk to MacDougal. Hopefully he hasn’t lost confidence. It’s a shame to see those guys suffer after they had been throwing the ball so well, they have great arms, but they aren’t attacking the strike zone and they aren’t throwing strikes.”
Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead on Wigginton’s homer in the second inning, and Crawford’s RBI double in the third.
In the third, Rob Mackowiak drew a walk with one out for the White Sox and advanced to second on Tadahito Iguchi’s single. With two outs, Jermaine Dye hit an RBI single and Paul Konerko hit an RBI double. Joe Crede followed with a single, scoring Dye and Konerko to give the White Sox a 4-2 lead.
White Sox utilityman Pablo Ozuna led off the first inning with a double, but rounded first base awkwardly and then injured himself sliding into second base. He fractured his right fibula and tore the deltoid ligament in his ankle. He walked off the field on his own, but will be re-evaluated by team doctors Monday and be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
“We’re going to miss a big part of this ballclub for maybe a couple of months. It’s a shame, this kid is real valuable for us and for me,” Guillen said. “We’re going to talk about who we’re going to call up. We don’t know yet, we’re a little confused right now.”
White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski and CF Darin Erstad had the day off. … Tampa Bay RHP Jae Seo was moved to the bullpen from the starting rotation. … Riggans played his first major league game of the season after being recalled from Triple-A Durham on Thursday. He was 1-for-5.