ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays' 13-game
homestand is off to a great start.
Bell and three relievers combined on a four-hitter, and Tino
Martinez had three hits and an RBI to lead Tampa Bay to a 2-0
victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.
The Devil Rays outscored the Royals 18-3 in sweeping the
"Three in a row at the start of a big homestand, we're off the
right way," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "It should give
us a little momentum going into the weekend series with the
(Toronto) Blue Jays."
Bell (4-4) struck out three and walked two in 6 1-3 scoreless
innings in the Devil Rays' third straight win following a six-game
losing streak. Jesus Colome and Trever Miller pitched a scoreless 1
2-3 innings, and Danys Baez threw a perfect ninth for his 20th save
in 22 opportunities.
Tampa Bay pitchers haven't allowed an earned run in 20 innings.
Mark Hendrickson gave up an unearned run in the ninth inning of
Wednesday's 10-1 win over the Royals.
"Pitching on the heels of that performance, it's a tough thing
to do," Bell said. "You have to capitalize on an opportunity to
beat a team that's struggling coming in to play against you."
Kansas City has lost seven straight, and has scored just 11 runs
over the stretch.
Royals first baseman Ken Harvey was taken out of the game by
manager Tony Pena for not running out a pop fly in the fourth.
"Either we're going to play the game right or people are going
to be on the bench," Pena said. "I ask my players to run the ball
out. Whoever doesn't run the ball out, I'm going to take him out of
the game. It's inexcusable."
Harvey said he ran all the way to the bag on the ball that was
caught by first baseman Martinez.
"I thought it was good enough, but I didn't run hard enough,"
Harvey said. "What I can do? That's his decision. End of story.
"I feel like I play hard everyday. I'm not trying to make this
into a battle of what I do, but I think my effort speaks for itself
everyday. Ask my teammates ... I play hard. I don't think I'm a
loafer. If I'm the scapegoat, I guess I'll be that guy."
Mike Wood (1-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in a career-high
seven innings. He's 0-3 in five starts since winning his first
start of the season June 29.
Rocco Baldelli had a run-scoring grounder and Martinez hit an
RBI single to put the Devil Rays up 2-0 in the third.
"We want to take advantage of being home and hopefully pile up
the wins," Martinez said. "It was definitely a good three
Wood kept the Royals within two runs by inducing an
inning-ending double play by Toby Hall with the bases loaded in the
"Wood did a great job," Pena said. "Too bad that we didn't
get any offense for him."
The Royals had a runner reach in seven of the first eight
innings. They went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring period over the
Plate umpire Tim Tschida warned both benches after Wood threw a
pitch that was belt-high behind Hall in the fourth. Kansas City's
David DeJesus reached base when he was grazed by a pitch from Bell
leading off the first.
The Royals optioned LHP Jimmy Gobble to Triple-A Omaha
after the game. They'll add a player Friday. ... Martinez has 14
hits in his past 25 at-bats. ... Kansas City completed a nine-game
road trip with just one win. The Royals begin a 10-game homestand
Friday against Cleveland. ... Baldelli has nine RBI in his last
six games. ... Royals SS Angel Berroa went 0-for-4 and is hitless
in 15 at-bats. ... The Devil Rays are 22-10 at home since May 20.
... Kansas City outfielder Juan Gonzalez is expected to miss the
rest of the season with a lower back injury. He's been sidelined
since May 22.