ST. PETERSBURG ? Tampa Bay Devil Rays catcher Toby Hall attempts to hold back Boston Red Sox David Ortiz (#34), who was hit by the pitch, as he makes a move for the mound to go after Rays pitcher Lance Carter (#38) which started a bench clearing braw (the first of two) during 7th inning action at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Sunday afternoon (4/24/05). (NOTE: Rays Aubrey Huff was hit by a pitch in the last inning.)
Times photo by Dirk Shadd
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Jay Payton hit a grand slam and Manny Ramirez homered one pitch after nearly being hit by a pitch as the Boston Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep with an ejection-filled 11-3 victory over the Devil Rays on Sunday.
There were six ejections in the seventh inning following a sequence of inside pitches and two bench-clearing scuffles. Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella, and Devil Rays' pitchers Lance Carter and Dewon Brazelton were all thrown out, along with Boston manager Terry Francona, starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo and outfielder Trot Nixon.
Carter threw a high-and-tight pitch in the seventh to Ramirez, one inning after Arroyo had hit Aubrey Huff with a pitch. Then he threw a 1-2 pitch near the head of the next batter, David Ortiz.
Both dugouts and bullpens emptied, with pushing and shoving taking place around the mound. Piniella, Carter, Nixon and Brazelton were all thrown out following that incident, which delayed the game nine minutes.
In the bottom of the inning, Arroyo hit Chris Singleton in the leg with his second pitch, prompting the teams to meet again near the mound and causing a four-minute delay. Arroyo and Francona were thrown out.
Arroyo (2-0) allowed three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings.
Ramirez also had a sacrifice fly during a two-run first against Hideo Nomo (2-2). He has six homers and 16 RBIs over his last past nine games.
Yankees 11, Rangers 1
NEW YORK Randy Johnson pitched eight dominant innings, Derek Jeter and Andy Phillips each homered and doubled, and the Yankees avoided a three-game sweep.
Phillips hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and drove in four runs, and Jeter finished a triple shy of the cycle and had three RBIs. A Yankees offense that mustered just 12 hits and five runs in two losses to Texas amassed 14 hits.
After giving up 16 runs 14 earned in his last three starts, Johnson (2-1) pitched like the ace the Yankees expected when they traded for him in the offseason, stopping the team's two-game skid and giving a taxed bullpen some much-needed rest.
Pedro Astacio (1-2) had given up just four runs in his first three starts after spending nearly all of the past two seasons on the disabled list, but was roughed up for seven runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings all the hits and runs coming in the second and fifth.
Orioles 7, Blue Jays 1
TORONTO Sammy Sosa homered twice, Sidney Ponson came within one out of a shutout and the Orioles completed a three-game sweep.
Sosa connected off Roy Halladay (3-1) in the fifth inning and Justin Speier in the ninth, his first multihomer game with Baltimore and the 67th of his career, tying him for third all-time with Mark McGwire. Only Barry Bonds (68) and Babe Ruth (72) have more.
Ponson (3-1) pitched a five-hitter, giving up an RBI single to Reed Johnson with two outs in the ninth. His status was in doubt for this start because of legal problems, but he was granted a special permit to enter Canada on Friday, a day after his team flew to Toronto.
The Blue Jays have lost five straight and seven of eight.
Ponson struck out seven and walked four in his 28th career complete game and first this season.
White Sox 4, Royals 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Pinch-hitter Pablo Ozuna doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the White Sox beat the Royals for their seventh straight victory.
Chicago rallied with two runs in the eighth off three Kansas City relievers.
Willie Harris started it with a single off Jamie Cerda and stopped at second when Paul Konerko singled off Shawn Camp (0-2) to snap an 0-for-10 skid.
Aaron Rowand's two-out single off rookie left-hander Andrew Sisco tied the score before Ozuna's double to right.
Neal Cotts (1-0) earned the win and Shingo Takatsu got his sixth save for the White Sox, who improved to 15-4.
The Royals have lost five straight and 11 of 13.
They led 3-2 after Matt Stairs homered leading off the seventh inning.
Mariners 9, Indians 1
SEATTLE Jamie Moyer became the AL's first four-game winner and tied Randy Johnson's franchise record for victories.
Miguel Olivo hit a three-run double for the Mariners, who snapped a three-game skid.
Moyer (4-0), who joined Seattle in 1996, has won 130 games in a Mariners uniform. Johnson posted his total from 1989-98.
Cleveland starter Scott Elarton has lost 13 straight decisions away from home. His last road win was May 6, 2001, with Houston. Elarton (0-1) allowed five runs four earned and four hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out five.
Angels 1, Athletics 0
ANAHEIM, Calif. Kelvim Escobar returned from an elbow injury in top form, and Steve Finley homered in the seventh inning to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Oakland Athletics 1-0 on Sunday.
Scot Shields (3-1) got the win, allowing one hit in 1 2-3 innings. Francisco Rodriguez got four outs for his fourth save in five attempts, two nights after blowing a save on Scott Hatteberg's go-ahead single with two outs in the ninth.
Rodriguez retired Eric Chavez with a runner on second to end the eighth, dropping Chavez to 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position this season. The right-hander then got pinch-hitter Adam Melhuse on a grounder with a runner on second to finish the four-hitter.
The Angels took the lead in the seventh on Finley's third homer, a drive to right field on the 77th pitch of the game by hard-luck loser Joe Blanton (0-2). The right-hander allowed six hits over eight innings in his fourth big league start.
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