ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Now that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
have turned their season around, they refuse to place a ceiling on
what they can accomplish.
The perennial last-place team beat the Florida Marlins 6-4 on
Saturday night to become the first club in major league history to
climb above .500 at any point in a season after being 18 games
"Why stop there?" Carl Crawford said after driving in three
runs, including a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning, to
pace the club's record-tying 13th consecutive interleague victory
and 15th win in 16 games overall.
"We're playing well," Crawford added. "Let's see what we can
do. Who knows what can happen?"
Tampa Bay was 10-28 after losing 19 of 22 from April 25-May 19.
But their turnaround, which included a club-record 12-game winning
streak, has them at 36-35 -- the latest point in a season they've
been above .500.
The Devil Rays improved the majors' best interleague record to
13-1 by matching the 13-game run the New York Yankees began against
NL opponents last year. The San Diego Padres snapped the Yankees'
streak on June 11.
The 1899 Louisville Colonels are the only other team to get back
to .500 after being 18 games below, but they never got over the
break-even point and finished 75-77. Tampa Bay's success has
carried it from last in the AL East to third, four games behind
"I haven't noticed anything. We've got to play," Piniella said
of creeping up on the Red Sox.
"That's a credit to the players. They're the ones who've got it
done. They've played hard and very well. It's been impressive. It's
good to do things nobody else has done."
Crawford had two hits for the seventh straight game and stole
his AL-leading 33rd base. He had a two-run single in the second,
and snapped a 4-4 tie with an RBI double off Matt Perisho in the
The Marlins have lost three straight and at 39-35, fell one
percentage point behind the Philadelphia Phillies for first in the
"We get the runs and no pitching. Then we get pitching and no
runs," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said.
"We've just got to weather the storm, keep battling, keep
plugging away, don't give up," he said. "It'll turn. We're due
for a nice, long streak, and we'll be like the Devil Rays. Maybe
coming in here and playing three games will energize us."
Reliever Jorge Sosa (2-0) pitched three scoreless innings to get
the win. Danys Baez worked the ninth for his 15th save in 17
opportunities, getting Miguel Cabrera to ground into a force play
with the bases loaded to end it.
Crawford drove in Tampa Bay's first two runs with a bases-loaded
single off Marlins starter Michael Tejera. Geoff Blum followed with
a two-run single to finish a four-run second, however Devil Rays
left-hander Mark Hendrickson couldn't hold the 4-0 lead.
The Marlins, held hitless by the Devil Rays' Dewon Brazelton
until Mike Lowell doubled with two outs in the eighth inning of a
2-0 loss Friday night, snapped a streak of 20 consecutive scoreless
innings after loading the bases with one out on a single, walk and
a hit batter in the fourth.
Hee Seop Choi's dribbler that Hendrickson fielded up the
first-base line drove in Florida's first run. Alex Gonzalez tripled
to center to drive in two more, and Damion Easley's RBI double made
Hendrickson allowed four runs and five hits in four innings.
Tejera went five innings in his first start of the season,
giving up four runs on five hits before being replaced by
The Marlins stranded the potential go-ahead run in the seventh
after Easley walked, moved to second on Luis Castillo's infield
single and took third on a fielder's choice. Sosa struck out
Cabrera, who fanned three times, to end the threat.
"The last couple of games, we're really not scoring runs. Not
enough offense," Cabrera said. "That's why we're losing. We got
our chances to score, but we didn't."
The latest the Devil Rays had been over .500 before
Saturday night was 22-21 on May 21, 1999. ... The Devil Rays didn't
win their 36th game last season until their 100th game on July 24.
... Marlins special assistant to the president Andre Dawson was
inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday.