Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Devil Rays in FirstPosted by Ben Jacobs
Tampa Bay apparently didn't get the message that the Yankees are supposed to be unbeatable this year. The Devil Rays pounded out 16 hits to rough up the Yankees, 8-3, and earn the best record in baseball for at least one day. Tino Martinez came back to haunt his old team, going 3-for-3 with his 300th career home run. He also walked, scored three runs and drove in two. Toby Hall added three hits and drove in three runs.
Victor Zambrano had a quality start to begin the season, going six innings and allowing three runs. Jason Giambi tagged him for a two-run homer in the first and Gary Sheffield hit an eyes-closed, check-swing RBI double in the sixth. Lance Carter and Danys Baez pitched three shutout innings to end the game.
It may or may not surprise you to learn that this is just the second time in franchise history that the Devil Rays have been alone in first place. Tampa Bay led the AL East by half a game at 2-0 in 2002. The Devil Rays won the next game to stay in first before losing 10 of their next 13 games to begin their descent into last place.
Surprisingly, this is the fourth straight season-opener the Devil Rays have won.
Ben Jacobs can be reached via e-mail.