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Devil Rays Keep Down Marlins

June 26, 2004|From Associated Press

Dewon Brazelton had a lot on his mind long before he found himself flirting with a no-hitter.

Brazelton held Florida hitless until Mike Lowell doubled with two outs in the eighth inning Friday night at St. Petersburg, Fla., and Tampa Bay won, 2-0, for its 12th consecutive interleague victory.

Things have been going so well for Tampa Bay the past month that the 24-year-old right-hander was concerned about letting his teammates down as the Devil Rays continued a historic push to turn around their season.

"There were some nerves involved, first of all because I knew we were coming off a big road trip -- all those wins in a row," Brazelton said of the 12-game winning streak -- longest in franchise history -- that ended in Toronto on Wednesday night.

"I didn't want to disappoint my teammates or the fans of Tampa Bay.... I want them to have confidence when my name is up on that lineup."

If the third pick in the 2001 draft behind the Twins' Joe Mauer and Cubs' Mark Prior continues to perform as he did in rebounding from a poor performance six days earlier, that shouldn't be a problem.

Brazelton (1-0) didn't make it through three innings despite being staked to a 7-0 lead against Arizona on June 19. This time, he lost his no-hit bid when Lowell lined a ground-rule double to left-center with two out in the eighth.

Lowell worked the count to 3-2, then fouled off three consecutive pitches before delivering his hit. Brazelton's right leg began cramping in the sixth inning, and there was a question about whether he would have gone back out for the ninth, even if he had retired Lowell.

"I made three or four quality pitches that he fouled," said Brazelton, who threw 125 pitches. "Finally I threw that last one and I didn't care, I wasn't going to walk him.... It ended up right in the middle, and he hit it for a double."

Brazelton walked six, struck out five and hit a batter on his way to his second big league victory, which came exactly a year after the Devil Rays -- frustrated by his 1-6 record and 6.89 earned-run average -- demoted him to Class-A Bakersfield, where he spent the last two months of the 2003 season. The victory was the 14th in 15 games for the Devil Rays, who improved to a major league-best 25-7 since May 20.

San Diego 3, Seattle 2 -- Brian Lawrence (9-5) earned his ninth victory, Phil Nevin hit a two-run single and the Padres held off the Mariners at Seattle when pinch-runner Hiram Bocachica made a baserunning mistake for the final out.

Colorado 10, Cleveland 8 -- Larry Walker hit his third homer of the game -- and third of the season -- in the 10th inning to lift the Rockies to victory at Cleveland.

Walker, playing only his fourth game after being sidelined for 68 games because of a groin injury, drove the first pitch from former teammate Jose Jimenez (1-6) into the right-field seats.

Boston 12, Philadelphia 1 -- Manny Ramirez hit his American League-best 20th homer, drove in five runs at Boston as the Red Sox won a game called in the eighth inning because of rain.

Pedro Martinez (8-3) gave up one run -- Jim Thome's major league-leading 25th homer.

Texas 3, Houston 1 -- Kenny Rogers threw a three-hitter at Arlington, Texas, to become the American League's first 10-game winner and the Rangers spoiled Carlos Beltran's debut with the Astros and won their seventh in a row.

St. Louis 5, Kansas City 2 -- Scott Rolen's homer and three-run double added four RBIs, giving him a major league-leading total of 75, and Matt Morris (8-6) pitched eight strong innings as the Cardinals won at Kansas City, Mo.

Minnesota 6, Milwaukee 3 -- Johan Santana (6-4) won his fourth start in a row and Cristian Guzman homered and scored four runs at Minneapolis to lead the Twins to their third consecutive victory.

Detroit 2, Arizona 1 -- Jason Johnson (5-7) gave up one hit in eight innings at Detroit and the Tigers sent the Diamondbacks to their season-high seventh loss in a row.

Baltimore 5, Atlanta 0 -- Rookie Daniel Cabrera pitched a four-hitter for his first major league shutout, leading the Orioles past the slumping Braves at Baltimore. Atlanta has lost seven of nine.

Toronto 3, Montreal 1 -- Josh Towers gave up one run in seven-plus innings and Reed Johnson had two RBIs as the Blue Jays won at Toronto.

New York Mets at New York Yankees, postponed -- Rain forced the postponement of the game, which will be made up Sunday as part of a day-night doubleheader.

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