Devil Rays 4, Dodgers 3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Dioner Navarro made his old team pay with a rare home run.
“I was pretty excited because it was against my old team and it was my first in a long time,” Navarro said.
Navarro, mired in a 2-for-34 slump, homered off Randy Wolf for his first home run since last Sept. 4. The catcher was obtained by the Devil Rays from Los Angeles in a four-player deal last June.
“I think that’s one of two ways to get out of a slump … a broken bat single or a home run,” Navarro said. “It’s been tough for the past couple weeks for me, but there’s nothing I can do about it except keep working hard to get back on a good pace.”
Navarro snapped a 216 at-bat long-ball drought with his 10th career homer.
“It definitely makes him feel better about himself,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “I really like his tenacity. He doesn’t make any excuses. He’s battling through adversity on the major league level, which eventually is going to make him a better major league baseball player.”
Wolf (8-6) had given up just one homer in his previous nine starts. The left-hander gave up four runs and 10 hits over 6 2-3 innings.
“I left a couple of pitches up over the plate that they hurt me with,” Wolf said. “We didn’t win today so you can’t really walk away with any good feelings.”
Akinori Iwamura also homered for Tampa Bay, which won for the third time in the last 10 games.
Kazmir allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked five during a 116-pitch outing. The left-hander is winless in 13 starts at home—including three losses—since a two-hit shutout victory over Boston last July 3.
“Five walks just isn’t going to cut it,” Kazmir said.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the fourth, fifth and seventh, but were kept off the scoreboard each time. In the seventh, reliever Jay Witasick induced a double play from Matt Kemp after allowing the first three batters to reach base. Casey Fossum (5-6) reloaded the bases with a walk before retiring Tony Abreu on a flyball.
The Dodgers stranded 15 runners in the game, which tied a season-high. They drew nine walks, but just one resulted in a run.
“That is too many people to leave on base and think you might win a game,” Los Angeles manager Grady Little said.
Iwamura hit his second leadoff homer in the past four games and Ty Wigginton had a sacrifice fly to put the Devil Rays up 2-0 in the first.
Los Angeles loaded the bases with one out in the fourth but failed to score when Ethier hit into a double play. The Dodgers also wasted a bases-loaded, two-out situation one inning later when Olmedo Saenz flew out to right.
Carl Crawford made it 3-0 on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly.
The Dodgers wore vintage 1950’s Brooklyn uniforms, while Tampa Bay played in the uniform of the 1950’s St. Petersburg Saints from the Florida State League. … Former Dodgers Duke Snider, Johnny Podres and Carl Erskine joined Devil Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer in throwing ceremonial first pitches. … Los Angeles 1B Nomar Garciaparra didn’t play due to flulike symptoms. … Tampa Bay pitching coach Jim Hickey is scheduled to undergo surgery Monday for a detached retina, the result of being struck by a golf ball. He will be replaced by minor league pitching coordinator Dick Bosman for a road series at Cleveland next weekend. … Russell Martin stole his 13th base this year, breaking Johnny Roseboro’s Los Angeles Dodgers team record for catchers (12 in 1962) in a single season. Con Daily has the franchise record of 18, set in 1892.