May 21, 2004

Tampa Bay 9, Boston 6. Derek Lowe fell apart in the 3rd inning, allowing seven straight hits -- and seven runs -- before being sent to the showers. As BDD says, the price goes down every day -- although at this rate, there won't even be an offer.

Tampa Bay's Victor Zambrano was worse, throwing 133 pitches in 4.2 innings, walking nine (a new Devil Rays record) and striking out eight. ... The Red Sox's first inning unfolded like this: BB, K, BB, K, BB, K. ... Boston did not hit a fair ball until Kevin Millar doubled (to the opposite field!) on Zambrano's 36th pitch. It took 14 batters (and 78 pitches) before the Red Sox hit 3 fair balls.

Staked to a 7-0 lead after three innings, Zambrano nearly threw it all away. In the fourth inning, he threw a whopping 45 pitches, walking four (2 with the bases loaded) and hitting a batter. He allowed three runs in that inning and three more in the fifth. That closed the gap to 7-6, but Boston managed only one single over the final 4.1 innings. And so Tampa Bay matched its longest winning streak of the season (one game). Box.

The Yankees won last night and lead the Red Sox by a half-game. Bronson Arroyo -- the anti-Lowe -- will right the ship tonight.

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