ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Lou Piniella wants to look ahead
instead of dwelling on the past.
A tough road trip brought the Tampa Bay manager's frustration to
a boiling point over the weekend. Monday night's 5-3 victory over
the Milwaukee Brewers gave him something else to talk about --
consecutive wins for the first time in more than two weeks.
The Devil Rays pitched poorly and played horrendous defense
while losing 10 of 12 games on a road trip that concluded Sunday
with the team snapping a seven-game losing streak at Pittsburgh.
"Let's not think about how the team has played," Piniella
said. "I thought that yesterday's game was a key one for us. They
tied us up in the ninth and we held on to win in extra innings. I
thought the team would get a little strength from that. Let's hope
that's the case."
Jonny Gomes and Travis Lee homered to back right-hander Doug
Waechter, and the Devil Rays also got some timely hitting from
Julio Lugo, Jorge Cantu and Eduardo Perez to spoil the big league
debut of Milwaukee's Prince Fielder.
Fielder, son of former major league star Cecil Fielder, was
promoted from Triple-A Nashville earlier in the day. The Brewers'
first-round pick in the 2002 amateur draft went 0-for-4 as the
"I was thinking too much. Maybe I just tried too hard,"
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said the 21-year-old prospect
appeared a little anxious, swinging at first pitches. Fielder felt
he calmed down after he grounded out in his first trip to the plate
in the second inning.
"I was trying to hit the ball hard, maybe too hard," Fielder
said. "Each at-bat I was feeling better and better."
Added Yost: "Prince is getting some valuable experience. It
will pay off for him in the long run."
Waechter (3-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in eight
innings, struck out six and walked one. Danys Baez finished for his
eighth save in 14 chances.
Tampa Bay improved to 17-14 at home, compared to 5-28 on the
road. Piniella lashed out at the team's new ownership before
Sunday's victory in Pittsburgh for being more concerned with the
future than trying to win now.
Chris Capuano (5-6) allowed four runs and 12 hits in seven
innings. Chad Moeller and Lyle Overbay homered for the Brewers, who
have lost five in a row and dropped a season-low seven games under
.500 at 28-35.
Gomes, recalled from Triple-A Durham earlier in the day, hit a
solo homer in the fourth and Lee added a pinch-hit solo homer off
Ricky Bottalico in the eighth. Lugo and Cantu had RBI singles in
the third, and Perez broke a 3-all tie with a fifth-inning single.
Lugo and Cantu had RBI singles in the third. Gomes, recalled
from Durham when the Devil Rays released Alex Sanchez and Charles
Johnson, added a solo homer for a 3-0 lead.
Waechter gave up a two-run homer to Moeller and solo shot to
Overbay in the fifth. The 24-year-old right-hander has yielded 13
homers in 66 1-3 innings this season.
Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins was 0-for-4, extending his slump
to 0-for-23 -- the longest hitless streak of his career. Yost said
he'll get Tuesday night off. ... The Devil Rays were the only team
in the majors that the Brewers had not faced before Monday night.
... Capuano picked Aubrey Huff off first base to bail himself out
of a jam in the first inning. He leads the majors with eight
pickoffs. ... A MRI exam performed on Devil Rays reliever Jesus
Colome revealed slight inflammation in his right shoulder. He won't
throw for a week to 10 days. ... Waechter has allowed 37 homers in
172 career innings, including 27 in 94 innings at home. ... Lee's
homer was his first since Sept. 27, 2003. He missed most season
with the New York Yankees because of a shoulder injury.