The Devil Rays beat the Red Sox on Monday and Tuesday, winning games started by a couple 10-game winners, Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling. It's the first time in 20 years that a major-league team won consecutive games this early in the season facing pitchers with at least 10 wins each time. The Red Sox were also the victims when it last happened. On July 2-3, 1986, they started Clemens (14 wins) and Oil Can Boyd (10 wins) against Toronto and lost both games. • For more Elias Says, Click here.
Ty Wigginton homered for the third time in two games, connecting off Schilling to snap a seventh-inning tie and help the Devil Rays beat the AL East-leading Red Sox 9-6 on Tuesday.Julio Lugo and Jonny Gomes also went deep for Tampa Bay, which hit three homers Monday night to beat Josh Beckett, Boston's other 10-game winner."You can say what you want about being the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but that's not the expansion Devil Rays any more," said Schilling, who is 2-2 against the last-place team this season."That's a very, very good offense top to bottom, an American League offense. I would put that lineup against a lot of lineups in this league. When they get pitching, they're going to win games."Wigginton homered twice off Beckett, and his first-pitch homer leading off the seventh doomed a personal five-game winning streak for Schilling (10-3), who allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings.The Devil Rays scored five runs off Mike Timlin in the eighth to go ahead 9-3. Boston's Manny Ramirez hit a three-run homer, his 23rd, in the top of the ninth off Shawn Camp, who still earned his fourth save.Jon Switzer (1-0) pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief for his first major league win."We came up with some big hits, and that's what it's all about," Lugo said. "One day you need a hero, and the next day you need another hero."Boston's David Ortiz hit his 27th homer in the seventh, tying the score 3-3. Gabe Kapler also hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who had won 14 of 15 before losing the opener of the four-game series Monday.Schilling, who hadn't lost since the New York Yankees beat him 7-3 on May 10, allowed three homers in a game for the fourth time this season. Lugo hit a two-run shot in the third and Gomes hit a solo shot in the fourth."They're a very aggressive fastball-hitting club," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "You can tell there's some guys that feel good about themselves. If you leave something over the middle of the plate, they will get their arms extended."A day after being limited to two hits in a 3-0 loss to All-Star Scott Kazmir, the Red Sox struggled again offensively against another Devil Rays left-hander.Casey Fossum struck out a season-high eight and walked two while holding Boston's potent lineup to three singles and Kapler's fourth-inning homer. The Tampa Bay starter left after five innings with a 3-1 lead that reliever Chad Harville couldn't protect.Kapler's RBI single off Harville trimmed Boston's deficit to one run in the sixth. Ortiz's fourth homer in his last four games made it 3-3 until Wigginton stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh."It's disappointing. We battled to get the game back with a chance to win it," Schilling said. "And first pitch, a pitch I've thrown probably 30-40 thousand times. First-pitch fastball away, and I throw it right down the middle."
Wigginton, Gomes, Carl Crawford and Dioner Navarro all drove in runs in the eighth for Tampa Bay. ... Gomes was 0-for-16 with 11 strikeouts against Schilling before smashing his 18th homer off one of the catwalks that support the roof at Tropicana Field. ... Ramirez has 37 career homers against the Devil Rays. He and Ortiz have homered in the same game 38 times. ... Boston SS Alex Gonzalez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, ending his hitting streak at 12 games. ... Fossum made his 100th career start, 40th with the Devil Rays. He left after throwing 100 pitches. ... Kazmir struck out 10 Monday, the second time he's fanned that many Red Sox this season. The 22-year-old left-hander is tied for third in the majors with three 10-plus strikeout games. Johan Santana has five and Pedro Martinez four. ... Tampa Bay RHP Rudy Lugo (back) will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Class-A Visalia on Wednesday. If all goes well, he'll rejoin the Devil Rays after the All-Star break.