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Kennedy overmatches Buehrle in Devil Rays' win

8/4/2002

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays had a rare
day of success against a left-handed pitcher.

Aubrey Huff and Jared Sandberg hit consecutive homers and Joe Kennedy threw seven strong innings as the Devil Rays beat All-Star
Mark Buehrle and the Chicago White Sox 10-3 Sunday.

"The guys played a real baseball game today,'' Tampa Bay
manager Hal McRae said. "Sometimes you go out and you play. They
call it a game of baseball, but you don't play baseball. It was a
wonderful effort by the players. We did it all. Speed, defense,
some aggressive play and power.''

Huff and Sandberg homered in the span of four pitches off
Buehrle (14-8) to put the Devil Rays up 3-2 in the sixth. It's the
first time Tampa Bay has hit consecutive homers since June 25 2001.

Huff added a run-scoring double and Sandberg hit an RBI single
during a six-run seventh that made it 9-2.

"Hitting is contagious,'' Huff said. "It's a lot of fun when
you're doing that.''

Sandberg scored his third run of the game on Andy Sheets'
two-out bunt single. Jason Conti drove in two with a double and
Carl Crawford had a run-scoring single.

"I thought it was going to be a classic pitchers duel,''
Sandberg said.

Kennedy (7-8) gave up two runs and seven hits. He out pitched
Buehrle to match his victory total from his rookie campaign last
season.

"It was something I was looking forward to,'' Kennedy said.
"He's an All-Star. He's 23. I'm 23. He's left-handed. I'm
left-handed. So it was just something I was looking forward to
coming out today and facing him.''

Buehrle, coming off a five-hit shutout over Minnesota, gave up
five runs and a career-high 11 hits over 6 1/3 innings.

"I was just missing my spots,'' Buehrle said. "I wasn't as
sharp as I was in my last outing.''

The left-hander is attempting to become the first White Sox
20-game winner since Jack McDowell went 22-10 in 1993.

"He had an uncharacteristic day for him,'' Chicago pitching
coach Don Cooper said. "Babe Ruth had a bad day once in a while.''

Tampa Bay is 5-14 when the opposition starts a left-hander. The
Devil Rays started the day hitting just .222 against left-handed
pitching. All four right-handed hitters -- not including the
switch-hitting Randy Winn -- in the starting lineup entered with
batting averages under .190 against lefties.

"This doesn't set a trend,'' McRae said.

Carlos Lee gave Chicago a 1-0 lead with an RBI grounder in the
third. He also had an RBI single in the ninth.

Tampa Bay tied it at 1 on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by
Sheets.

Joe Crede's run-scoring single in the sixth gave the White Sox a
2-1 lead. Later in the inning, a sliding Frank Thomas was thrown
out by Conti trying to score from second after being sent home by
third base coach Wallace Johnson on Royce Clayton's single to right
field.

"It really could have been the turning point,'' Chicago manager
Jerry Manuel said. "I've been at third base, and I know there are
times when the team's not doing anything and you want to try to do
something to help. But that might not have been a good time.''

Thomas was also thrown out at the plate by Conti in Saturday's
game, but that time he tried to score without sliding.

Thomas reached base after being hit in the leg by a Kennedy
pitch. He threw his bat to the ground as he headed toward first
base.

Game notes
Tampa Bay, at 37-73, has the worst record in the majors,
but the Devil Rays have has won eight of 15. "I'm sleeping
better,'' McRae said. "I enjoy sleeping. ... Buehrle had allowed
just seven homers in his past 126 2-3 innings before the
back-to-back shots in the sixth. ... White Sox RHP Rocky Biddle
replaced Buehrle and gave up four runs in one-third of an inning.
... Chicago RF Magglio Ordonez (bruised left elbow) was back in the
starting lineup after pinch-hitting Saturday. ... Devil Rays 2B
Felix Escalona, who is expected to see extensive playing time
during the final two months of the season, went 2-for-4. He has 12
hits in 26 at-bats during seven starts dating back to June 5.