Kazmir, Devil Rays blank Red SoxSep 11, 2007 - 3:59 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
BOSTON (Ticker) - The Boston Red Sox could have used Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz on Monday night.
Tampa Bay lefthander Scott Kazmir outdueled Curt Schilling, throwing seven shutout innings, while the Devil Rays managed to scratch one run against Schilling in a 1-0 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
It was Boston's first 1-0 loss at Fenway since Yankees righthander Mike Mussina came within an out of a perfect game on September 2, 2001.
Ramirez (left oblique strain) and Ortiz (right knee) did not start with nagging injuries, marking the first time since September 16, 2006, that both sluggers were not in the Red Sox lineup.
Ortiz came in the ninth as a pinch hitter, but he grounded out to third.
With a strikeout of Coco Crisp in the first, Kazmir became the eighth active pitcher under the age of 24 to reach 200 strikeouts in a season. The lefthander ended up fanning 10 on the night, marking the fourth time this season and the 12th time in his career he has registered double-figures in strikeouts.
"They threw a different lineup up there," Kazmir said. "They took away a lot of their lefties. It was nice to see "Big Papi" (Ortiz) out of the lineup. It felt like I had everything working today. My changeup was working and also my slider. Usually, it's one or the other, so it was nice to have those two pitches to go to, even behind in the count."
Kazmir (12-8) did his best work in the seventh when he had runners on first and second with one out, clinging to a one-run lead. After walking Jason Varitek to put runners on first and second, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon made a visit to the mound, but not to take out his starter.
"I said that this is not a normal game, this is a playoff game," Maddon said. "That's what I was waiting to see for those last two outs. I wanted him to get used to this stuff."
Kazmir, who reached 98 miles per hour in his last inning, responded by striking out Jacoby Ellsbury and before getting Alex Cora to ground into a fielder's choice to escape the jam.
"It jacked me up," Kazmir said of the visit from his manager. "It pumped me up and I was going on adrenaline to begin with, but that intensified it, you could say."
"I just thought he had great stuff and I thought that based on the whole vibe of the night," Maddon added. "I just wanted him to get used to pitching in these kind of situations. And that's why I went out to the mound."
Kazmir threw a season-high 118 pitches over seven innings.
"I knew quickly he (Kazmir) was on," Schilling said. "It seems to me the biggest difference between younger pitchers and older pitchers is that if you don't get to guys that are established early (in the game), they settle in and they beat you.
"With young pitchers, it seems it's kind of easy to tell one way or the other quickly. Tonight he was on. I thought this was the best game I have ever seen him pitch against us."
Kazmir, who lost his previous two decisions this season against Boston, has made more starts against the Red Sox than any other team, improving to 6-4 lifetime and 4-3 career at Fenway.
"He was very, very good," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Kazmir. "We've seen him a lot and we'll probably continue to see him a lot. You're seeing a maturing pitcher. He's always had the tremendous arm, the real good stuff. He's starting to add in that changeup and (is) holding runners better."
Dan Wheeler struck out two in the eighth and Al Reyes worked the ninth for his 24th save.
In an effort to show that he's gearing up for a possible playoff run, Schilling was very effective, giving up just one run on five hits over six innings. He walked just one while striking out five.
"It's September. It's about winning and losing games and tonight I got outpitched," said a frustrated Schilling.
Schilling's only rough inning came in the fifth when the Devil Rays used small ball to break through. Greg Norton doubled off the left field wall as Jacoby Ellsbury crashed into the scoreboard and just missed snagging the fly.
Dioner Navarro bunted Norton to third and Josh Wilson lifted a fly to Bobby Kielty in right, scoring Norton.
"I think that's something we've stressed throughout the year and it hasn't always been there," Norton said. "But I think we have a very good team but in games like this, against teams like this, we have to play fundamental baseball and we were able to do that tonight and we were able to come out with a 1-0 victory which doesn't happen too often in Boston."
Schilling (8-7) finished strong, retiring the side in order in the sixth and coming out after 99 pitches.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR, DAN WHEELER (8TH), AL REYES (9TH) AND DIONER
BOS - CURT SCHILLING, BRYAN COREY (7TH), JAVIER LOPEZ
(8TH), MIKE TIMLIN (8TH) AND JASON V
Sep 10 10:04 PM
AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
SACRIFICE FLY BY JOSH WILSON SCORED GREG NORTON.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
BOSTON 0 TOP, 5TH
DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.283, 0-FOR-2)
Rays vs. Red SoxSep 10 8:28 PM
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