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Kazmir allows 2 runs before being hit by line drive

DETROIT (AP) -- A subtle shift made a big difference for Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir.

The left-hander used to put just the toe of his left foot on the
right side of the rubber when beginning his delivery. After a week
of throwing on the side under the tutelage of pitching coach Chuck
Hernandez, Kazmir moved his heel to the edge of the rubber.

"It made it easier to pitch outside," Kazmir said after
earning his first win of the season in a 6-2 victory Thursday over
the Detroit Tigers. "It was difficult at first, but as I went on,
I got into a rhythm."

Nick Green and Damon Hollins homered for the Devil Rays, who
snapped a four-game losing streak.

Kazmir (1-4) allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings.
He walked four and struck out two.

He departed after he was hit on the right leg by Dmitri Young's
line drive. Seth McClung and Lance Carter held the lead for Danys
Baez, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and got five
outs for his fourth save in seven chances.

"[Kazmir] threw well and we gave him some run support," Devil
Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "But you want all of your young
pitchers to win, because it settles them down. You talk about
pitching well, but the biggest confidence booster is winning a
baseball game."

Mike Maroth, a late substitution for Jeremy Bonderman, took the
loss. Maroth (4-3) allowed six runs and nine hits in six innings.

"I felt fine," he said. "I just didn't have the same stuff I
normally do. I would say my stuff was below average today. I just
tried to make it through each inning and battle."

Detroit manager Alan Trammell said before the game that he
decided on Tuesday to give Bonderman another day off after the
pitcher told him his arm "was a little dead." Bonderman is
expected to start against Arizona on Friday.

The Tigers (19-20) failed again to get over the .500 mark, which
disappointed Trammell.

"We had a shot to sweep and get over .500 and we didn't look
like there was any urgency, so that's disappointing," he said.

Kazmir, who entered with a 7.20 ERA on the road, retired the
first eight Detroit batters and did not allow a hit until Young's
fourth-inning double.

He walked Ramon Martinez and Nook Logan with two outs in the
third, but struck out Brandon Inge to end the threat.

"He had a couple hitters where he lost it, but it was good to
see him regroup," Green said.

The Devil Rays got their first two runs in the second after
loading the bases on three singles. Charles Johnson and Carl
Crawford each walked with the bases loaded to make it 2-0.

"I was nitpicking a little bit, trying to make too good of a
pitch, and I got in a bad situation," Maroth said.

Hollins hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Julio Lugo singled
and scored on Aubrey Huff's sacrifice fly, and Green led off the
sixth with a home run.

The Tigers broke up the shutout bid in the bottom half. Logan
singled, went to second on a walk by Inge and third when Ivan
Rodriguez hit into a fielder's choice.

Logan scored on a single by Rondell White which sent Rodriguez
to third, and he scored on Young's liner off Kazmir's leg, which
Tampa Bay third baseman Jorge Cantu picked up and threw to first,
retiring Young.

Piniella immediately removed Kazmir from the game.

"I looked up and saw Lou, and I knew that was it," Kazmir
said. "[The leg] was pretty sore."

Kazmir walked off the field without assistance. Piniella said
the pitcher had a bruise and was not expected to miss a turn in the
rotation.

Game notes
Detroit's Carlos Pena, who was not in the lineup, was
ejected by plate umpire Gary Cederstrom in the fourth inning. ...
Tampa Bay improved to 16-13 in Detroit, the only city where the
Devil Rays have a winning record. ... Inge's 10-game hitting streak
ended.