Pittsburgh 7, Tampa Bay 5

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Paul Maholm wouldn't accept the finish,
no matter how good the rest of his start was. For Scott Kazmir,
another ineffective spring training start wasn't a worry, even
though the season is fast approaching.

Maholm cruised through five innings, allowing one hit and one
walk, before a brief streak of wildness led to a four-run Tampa Bay
sixth inning in the Pittsburgh Pirates' 7-5 win over the Devil Rays
on Tuesday.

With both teams starting many of their regulars, the Pirates
roughed up Kazmir for seven runs -- four earned -- and 11 hits in 4
1-3 innings, elevating his ERA to 9.24. That's hardly the figure
expected of an opening-day starter.

"But I think I'm ready, I really do," said Kazmir, who has
permitted 17 hits, 12 earned runs and 10 walks in 7 2-3 innings
over his last three starts against major league teams. "I'm not
concerned with this. I felt great. I think I was spotting the ball

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon blamed some sloppy defense for
making Kazmir's start look worse than he felt it was. On a sunny
day when fielders for both teams struggled, the Devil Rays' three
errors included an uncaught pop fly that landed beside third
baseman Aubrey Huff, leading to a two-run fourth.

Jason Bay also singled in that inning while going 4-for-4 and is
hitting .464. Craig Wilson also had a two-run double.

The Devil Rays did nothing with Maholm until he walked Greg
Norton and Julio Lugo starting the sixth. Carl Crawford followed
with a two-run double that brought on reliever Ryan Vogelsong, who
immediately gave up a two-run homer to Jorge Cantu.

The left-handed Maholm, coming off a brief but promising debut
last season in which he went 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA in six starts,
said the sixth inning was unacceptable.

"It was one of those innings where you lose it for a couple of
guys, throw a good pitch but then a guy hits a double," Maholm
said. "Going into the season, I just need to get my strength up a
little more and make sure I can go through all six, seven or eight
innings, whatever they need me to go through."

The 23-year-old Maholm, one of four Pirates starting pitchers 24
or younger, will pitch in the Pirates' minor league camp on Sunday
before his first start of the season, April 7 in Cincinnati. Like
Kazmir, he was more bad than good this spring, with a 7.83 ERA, but
he is not discouraged.

"I think it's going pretty well -- as a young guy, it's fun to
stick around all spring and make the team, because that's one of
goals you set," he said. "I just would have liked to have pitched
a lot better. I set standards for myself that keep me working, I
had some outings that were rough and I can't accept that. I just
have to get after it and it's good the spring's winding down."<
Notes: The Devil Rays made two roster cuts, optioning RHP Tim Corcoran to Triple-A Durham and reassigning LHP Wayne Franklin to their minor league camp. They still have 38 players in camp, 13 over the opening-day limit. The Pirates, carrying 35 players, expect to make some cuts Wednesday.