Final

Devil Rays 4

(13-12, 5-6 away)

Pirates 6

(12-13, 7-5 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 28, 2005

    McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 200002000 4 - -
    PIT 30100020 - 6 - -

    Pittsburgh 6, Tampa Bay 4

    BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Craig Wilson hit two more home runs, then pronounced himself more than eager for the season to start.

    The question is whether the Pittsburgh Pirates' pitching staff will be ready by next Monday's opener against Milwaukee.

    Wilson and Ty Wigginton homered in succession off reliever Angel Garcia in the seventh inning, and the Pirates hit three homers in beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-4 Monday.

    The Pirates' Josh Fogg and the Devil Rays' Rob Bell each struggled at times in a matchup of No. 4 starters. Fogg pitched four scoreless innings in-between two bad ones and Bell, coming off five shutout innings against the Dodgers, gave up Wilson's two-run homer during a three-run Pirates first.

    "That guy can hit them off anybody," Devils Rays manager Lou Piniella said.

    Wilson hit 29 homers in his first full season as an everyday player last year and is among the NL leaders with six homers this spring. Like many players, he is getting restless and would prefer to be playing games that count after six weeks of spring training.

    "I think we're all ready for the season to start," Wilson said.

    Wigginton's homer also was his sixth and gave him a team-high 18 RBI, but it was his starting pitcher's uneven outing that most concerned manager Lloyd McClendon.

    Except for opening day starter Oliver Perez, the Pirates' rotation has struggled nearly all spring. Kip Wells has a 4.91 ERA, Mark Redman has allowed 11 runs in his last nine innings and Dave Williams couldn't hold a four-run lead against the Twins in his last start Thursday.

    Fogg gave up Travis Lee's first homer this spring, a two-run drive to center in the first, then settled down before yielding Jorge Cantu's two-run shot in the sixth. Fogg has allowed eight homers in 17 innings and has a 9.53 ERA.

    "He was good at times, bad at times," McClendon said. "You're expecting more from your starters at this time. The fact he elevated the ball at times is disappointing."

    The right-handed Fogg has one more start left before the season starts.

    "You know it's still spring training, but you want to perform well," he said. "I've got to fine tune some things."

    Piniella felt Bell's pitch location was a problem at times and that a strong breeze also didn't help.

    "When he started throwing strikes, things turned around for him," Piniella said. ^Notes:@ Bell was scored upon for only the second time in six games. He has a 2.49 ERA. ... Pirates closer Jose Mesa pitched in consecutive games for the first time this spring, working a scoreless ninth. He also pitched a scoreless inning Sunday against the Red Sox. ... Pirates LF Jason Bay, out since March 8 with a bruised left wrist bone, went 0-for-4 in a minor league game. He could play in a major league exhibition as early as Tuesday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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