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Red Sox Shut Down the Rockies, 11-0

June 18, 2004|From Associated Press

Shortly before his first start at Coors Field, Derek Lowe told catcher Jason Varitek he didn't want to throw any curveballs.

Lowe missed his goal by one, but he sure had the right idea.

Sticking mostly with his fastball and sinker at the hitter-friendly park, Lowe pitched four-hit ball for seven innings in the 25th shutout in Coors Field history Thursday to help the Boston Red Sox avoid a sweep with an 11-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Lowe threw one curveball -- to Todd Helton -- and three other breaking balls, choosing to negate the effects of the thin air at Coors by changing speeds instead of with movement.

"The air doesn't really affect the change of speed, so if you can throw a sinker and a changeup you'll have a lot more success than the breaking ball because the breaking balls are the ones that spin," Lowe said. "You've got to give yourself the best chance to have success and throwing breaking balls isn't the right way to go."

Working quickly in his 100th career start, Lowe (6-5) gave up three hits and allowed no runners past second base through the first five innings. Colorado had runners on second and third in the sixth, but Lowe got Matt Holliday on a groundout to end the inning.

Lowe was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth after throwing 93 pitches on a cool, rainy afternoon.

Tampa Bay 4, San Diego 1 -- Fred McGriff hit his 493rd home run and the Devil Rays extended their franchise-record winning streak to eight games at San Diego.

The Devil Rays also swept consecutive series for the first time in their seven-year history. In sweeping the Padres, the Devil Rays jumped from last in the AL East to third.

McGriff tied Lou Gehrig for 21st on the career list with a two-run shot into the home run porch down the right-field line at Petco Park in the sixth inning, his second this season.

Philadelphia 6-4, Detroit 2-5 -- Carlos Guillen's two-out RBI single in the 11th inning gave the Tigers a split of a day-night doubleheader at Philadelphia.

In the opener, Jason Michaels homered and drove in four runs.

The nightcap was delayed 51 minutes by rain before the sixth inning. Brandon Inge tied it, 4-4, with a one-out, solo homer off Billy Wagner in the ninth inning. Danny Patterson pitched the 11th for his second save.

Arizona 6, New York Yankees 1 -- Knuckleballer Steve Sparks gave up one run in seven innings and Juan Brito hit his first major league home run for the Diamondbacks at Phoenix.

Sparks gave up only three hits, including Alex Rodriguez's 456-foot home run, and walked seven.

New York had a four-game winning streak end in losing for only the fourth time in 22 games and second in 19 interleague games dating to last season.

New York Mets 6, Cleveland 2 -- Mike Cameron hit his first home run since May 10 and five pitchers combined on a five-hitter at New York.

Jae Seo worked four effective innings, giving up two hits and striking out six in a game delayed 1 hour, 49 minutes by rain.

Seo left after the rain delay, and Ricky Bottalico (3-1) threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. John Franco, Mike Stanton and Braden Looper finished the five-hitter.

Florida 2, Chicago White Sox 1 -- Pinch-hitter Matt Treanor singled home the winning run with two out in the 11th inning at Miami.

Marlin starter Josh Beckett left in the fourth inning with a muscle strain in his side. He had just returned from a 15-day stint on the disabled list because of a blister on his right middle finger.

Minnesota 6, Montreal 4 -- Matthew LeCroy hit his third pinch-hit homer in three at-bats this season as the Twins rallied for a three-game sweep at Montreal.

Torii Hunter's RBI double in the eighth inning put Minnesota ahead to stay, sending the Expos to their sixth consecutive loss.

San Francisco 8, Toronto 5 -- Michael Tucker hit a tiebreaking triple in the eighth inning as the Giants completed a three-game sweep at San Francisco.

The winning rally was set up when pinch-hitter Barry Bonds was intentionally walked leading off the eighth. Ray Durham beat out a bunt single, and both scored on Tucker's drive to center off Justin Speier (1-4).

Seattle 6, Milwaukee 3 -- Scott Spiezio hit a tiebreaking homer leading off the eighth inning at Milwaukee. Jolbert Cabrera homered and drove in three runs, and Randy Winn also connected for the Mariners.

Kansas City 10, Atlanta 4 -- Darrell May beat his former team for the first time and Desi Relaford went three for five with three RBIs at Atlanta.

Cincinnati 4, Texas 3 -- Ken Griffey Jr. failed to get his milestone 500th homer, but the Reds pulled off another late rally for a three-game sweep at Cincinnati.

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