D-Rays 10, Chicago 7. Before the season began we envisioned a team with solid starting pitching, lots of speed, occasional power surges and a terrible bullpen. We saw all those elements last night in the first game of a 3 game set at the Trop against the defending world champion Chicago Whit Sox. SP Scott Kazmir continues to show that he can be the stopper every team needs. The guy who can take the mound and stop a losing streak. It is hard to believe that this kid is only 22, and even more unfathomable that the New York Mets let the Rays have him for Victor Zambrano. Of course, as much as we listen to New York City sports radio, believe us, the Mets fans have not forgotten about Kazmir and follow his every move in disgust. Kazmir won his 4th straight start going 7, giving up 5 hits, 2 walks (both in the first inning) and 1 run. He struck out 8. The only ball hit hard off of Kazmir, was a sixth inning ground rule double by Tadahito Iguchi that CF Joey Gathright appeared to lose in the lights. Kazmir is now 6-1 with a 1.90 ERA since his opening day loss in Baltimore, allowing more than 2 walks in only 2 of those 8 starts and more than 2 runs in 1 start. The offense broke open the game in the 5th in true Devil Ray fashion. A lead off base hit was followed by a sacrifice attempt in which Gathright reached on an error. Gathright’s speed clearly made pitcher Boone Logan rush his throw pulling 1B Paul Konerko off the bag. Julio Lugo then attempted to move the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, but he too reached first with a beautiful bunt down the third base line, loading the bases. Carl Crawford then hit an infield single in which the pitcher failed to cover first, scoring Hollins. Crawford likely would have beat the pitcher to the bag anyway. After scoring one run and loading the bases with speed, the Rays flexed their muscles. Jonny Gomes hit a double to the gap in right center that easily cleared the bases. Eventually, the Rays would stretch their lead to 10-1. Not wanting to have too easy of a win, the bullpen tried their best to blow the game, giving up 6 runs in the 8th, before Tyler Walker came on in the 9th to record his 6th save in 7 chances with Tampa.



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