Final in 16

Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 4/1)

Game 1: Monday, March 31
Boston4Final
Tampa Bay6
Game 2: Tuesday, April 1
Boston9Final
in 16
Tampa Bay8
Game 3: Wednesday, April 2
Boston7Final
Tampa Bay5
Game 4: Thursday, April 3
Boston14Final
Tampa Bay5

Red Sox 9

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Devil Rays 8

(1-1, 1-1 home)

    7:15 PM ET, April 1, 2003

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    678910111213141516 R H E
    BOS 20000000001 9 13 0
    TB 10200000000 8 19 0

    W: B. Lyon (1-0)

    L: J. Sosa (0-1)

    Sox blow another lead but win in 16th

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- As he circled the bases, all Kevin Millar could think about was that the game wasn't over.

    "I felt great. But the bottom line was we had one more half-inning to get out of it,'' Millar said Tuesday night after his homer in the 16th inning sent the Boston Red Sox to a 9-8 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    "I was fortunate to get a ball I could handle and hit out of the park. Then, we went out there and shut the door. It was a big win for us.''

    Millar, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the 14th, lined a 1-2 pitch into the left-field seats off loser Jorge Sosa.

    Millar was sent to Boston by the Florida Marlins in the offseason after he chose not to play for the Chunichi Dragons despite agreeing to a $6.2 million, two-year deal with the Japanese team. He said he did not want to play overseas as the United States prepared for war with Iraq.

    The Devil Rays, who stranded a club-record 21 runners, had the potential game-winning run in scoring position in six innings between the eighth and 14th, but couldn't take the lead. Red Sox left fielder Damian Jackson threw out Travis Lee trying to score from second to end the 12th.

    "We had chances. So did they,'' Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "We battled and played hard. We just didn't get the big hit when we needed it.''

    The Red Sox were held to four hits after the sixth inning, but had a couple of chances to win before Millar's homer bailed out a revamped bullpen that blew a three-run lead in the late innings for the second straight night.

    Trot Nixon flied out with runners at first and third to end the top of the 12th. Devil Rays center fielder Rocco Baldelli threw out Nixon trying to score from second on Johnny Damon's single in the 15th.

    "They always say that first win of the year is always the toughest to get. I don't know if it can get much tougher than this,'' Red Sox manager Grady Little said. "We're glad to have that one behind us now so we can get going forward.''

    Brandon Lyon, the seventh Boston pitcher, went three innings for the victory in the longest game in Devil Rays history. The previous one was 15 innings against Baltimore on Aug. 4, 2000.

    Manny Ramirez drove in three runs for the Red Sox, two on a sixth-inning double that fell in front of Baldelli, who took a step backward before realizing the ball wasn't hit that hard.

    Boston starter Tim Wakefield allowed five runs and five hits in five innings before departing with a 6-5 lead. The Red Sox built the advantage to three runs before the bullpen faltered.

    Rey Ordonez, who was 3-for-8 with four RBI for Tampa Bay, doubled to drive in a run off reliever Mike Timlin in the sixth. The light-hitting shortstop hit a two-run homer off Bob Howry to make it 8-8 in the eighth.

    Jeremy Giambi hit his first homer with the Red Sox, a two-run shot in the sixth off Devil Rays starter Victor Zambrano. Boston scored four times in the inning with Ramirez grounding out to drive in a run and Shea Hillenbrand adding a sacrifice fly.

    Tampa Bay rallied from a 6-3 deficit on Lee's two-run homer, only to watch the Red Sox go ahead again when Damon and Nomar Garciaparra walked ahead of Ramirez's double that made it 8-5.

    The Red Sox wasted a strong opening-day performance by Pedro Martinez when Alan Embree and Chad Fox blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning of a 6-4 loss Monday. This time, Timlin and Howry couldn't hold a three-run advantage.

    Meanwhile, Tampa Bay's bullpen kept the Devil Rays in the game. Right-hander Lance Carter led the way, pitching four scoreless innings.

    In addition to allowing Lee's homer in the fifth, Wakefield gave up a two-run double to Al Martin in the first and an RBI single to Ordonez. The knuckleballer walked three and struck out six.

    Zambrano lasted 4 2/3 innings for the Devil Rays, yielding six runs on six hits. He gave up a two-run double to Garciaparra in the third and another double to the Boston star during a four-run fifth.

    Game notes


    Boston pitching coach Tony Cloninger went back to Boston to prepare for treatment for bladder cancer. He is expected to begin treatment April 10. ... Red Sox spokesman Kevin Shea said there was no news to report on the status of talks with Martinez on a contract extension. ... Ordonez saved a run in the third when he caught Ramirez's high infield pop while falling backward. He positioned himself just behind the mound but appeared to lose sight of the ball until the last moment.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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