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Schilling seeks a return to win column at Fenway Park

Sep 26, 2006 - 1:54 PM Tampa Bay (60-96) at Boston (83-74) 7:05 pm EDT

BOSTON (Ticker) -- On July 20, Curt Schilling became the first member of the Boston Red Sox to open a season 8-0 at Fenway Park since 1978. Over two months later, the ace righthander still is looking for his ninth home win of the campaign.

Schilling makes a seventh attempt at an eighth career 15-win season when the Red Sox begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday.

Boston has lost the last six games started by Schilling (14-7, 4.07 ERA), managing an average of just 2.5 runs in those games. Schilling has posted a mark of 0-3 with a 5.26 ERA since allowing two runs in seven innings of a 3-2 win at Tampa Bay on August 4.

The 39-year-old Schilling's unbeaten home string came to an end July 30, when he allowed six runs and 10 hits - including three homers - in a 10-4 loss to Anaheim. Schilling has posted a 2.84 ERA in three starts here since, but the bullpen has surrendered 13 runs in nine innings to lose each of those games.

In his most recent start against the Devil Rays here May 27, Schilling worked seven effective innings en route to the 200th win of his major league career. His counterpart Tuesday still is in search of his first.

Tampa Bay gives the ball to rookie Jason Hammel (0-4, 7.01), who makes his eighth major league start. The 24-year-old righthander has not made it out of the fifth inning in each of his last two outings, posting an 11.00 ERA in losses to the New York Yankees and Baltimore.

The Devil Rays have won five of the last seven meetings with the Red Sox, but Boston has gone 6-1 against Tampa Bay here in 2006.

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