Series: Game 1 of 4

Boston leads 1-0 (as of 9/9)

Game 1: Monday, September 9
Boston 6Final
Tampa Bay 3
Game 2: Tuesday, September 10
Boston 12Final
Tampa Bay 1
Game 3: Wednesday, September 11
Boston 6Final
Tampa Bay 3
Game 4: Thursday, September 12
Boston 6Final
Tampa Bay 3

Red Sox 6

(80-62, 43-28 away)

Devil Rays 3

(48-95, 26-46 home)

    7:15 PM ET, September 9, 2002

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 110100120 6 - -
    TB 001020000 3 - -

    W: D. Lowe (19-7)

    L: T. Sturtze (3-16)

    S: U. Urbina (32)

    Behind Lowe, Red Sox double-up Devil Rays

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Derek Lowe never thought his 19th win would come this way.

    Derek Lowe
    Starting Pitcher
    Boston Red Sox
    GM W L Sv K ERA
    29 19 7 0 113 2.45

    Lowe became the American League's second 19-game winner despite being ejected, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-3 Monday night.

    Lowe (19-7) was leading 4-3 when he was ejected by plate umpire Jerry Crawford after hitting Felix Escalona with his first pitch in the seventh. Lowe also hit Escalona in the fifth inning, but no warning was issued then.

    ''I was really surprised,'' Lowe said. ''We just took the lead 4-3. I was trying to throw a pitch low and away ... obviously it missed by a long way.''

    Red Sox manager Grady Little said Crawford told him that he thought Lowe threw intentionally at Escalona.

    ''His judgment was wrong that time,'' Little said. ''We have one of the best pitchers in the league, who's got a shot to win the Cy Young. Got a chance to win 20 games. Sometimes he just gets out of whack.''

    Tampa Bay manager Hal McRae and Escalona agreed.

    ''There was no reason for him to throw at him ... he's hitting .200,'' McRae said. ''The league seems to make more out of incidents with the Red Sox than we do.''

    The umpires did talk about an alert from the commissioner's office before the game. The two teams have had several games in the past where players were thrown out following hit batters.

    Crawford declined comment about the ejection. He indicated he would address the matter Tuesday after filing his report.

    Lowe gave up three runs and five hits in six-plus innings. Ugueth Urbina pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save, striking out two.

    ''I got a better result than I should have,'' Lowe said. ''I didn't pitch very well.''

    Manny Ramirez hit a tiebreaking homer, a solo shot in the seventh off Tanyon Sturtze (3-16) that put Boston ahead 4-3. Ramirez has six homers and 18 RBI against Tampa Bay this season and 27 homers overall.

    Ramirez was almost taken out of the game four innings earlier. He hit a check-swing grounder back to Sturtze in the third, and immediately headed toward the dugout.

    ''He knew he was wrong,'' Little said. ''He apologized to every player in that dugout. After he went around and apologized, it hard to do that (take him out).''

    ''It takes man to admit he's wrong,'' Boston's Jason Varitek added. ''I was very proud of him.''

    Varitek and Trot Nixon hit consecutive homers in the eighth to put Boston ahead 6-3. All three homers were off Sturtze, who gave up a team-record 14 hits.

    Boston trails the AL East-leading New York Yankees by nine games. The Red Sox started the day 8 games behind the Anaheim Angels -- who played later Monday -- in the wild-card race.

    Sturtze, whose 16 losses are the most in the AL and a Devil Rays' record, pitched 7 2/3 innings. Randy Winn drove in three runs for Tampa Bay.

    ''It just seems like something always ends up happening,'' Sturtze said. ''I make a bad pitch to lose the game.''

    Ramirez hit an RBI single in the first, and Brian Daubach doubled in the second and scored on catcher John Flaherty's two-out throwing error, which came when he threw to first after Rey Sanchez struck out on a pitch in the dirt.

    Winn hit an RBI grounder in the third, and Nixon made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. The inning ended when Johnny Damon -- who entered as third-toughest to double up in the majors -- hit into just his fourth double play this season.

    Sturtze started a 1-2-5 double play in the fifth. With the bases-loaded and no outs, he had Cliff Floyd's liner go off his glove. Sturtze picked up the ball in front of the mound and threw home to retire Lou Merloni. Nomar Garciaparra, who headed back toward second when it looked like Sturtze might catch the ball, was thrown out at third.

    Winn tied with a two-run triple in the bottom half.

    Game notes

    Red Sox RHP Pedro Martinez (left hip-groin) felt fine after a 28-pitch bullpen session and is scheduled to start Wednesday. ... Merloni, who started at third, was 10-for-19 with two homers against Sturtze coming in. He went 2-for-4 against him. ... Huff doubled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 16-games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press