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Devil Rays' Kazmir stymies Jays with help of two relievers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Scott Kazmir keeps getting better.

Kazmir and two relievers combined on a four-hitter, leading the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 Sunday.

Acquired before last year's trade deadline from the New York Mets, Kazmir leads the Devil Rays with a 4.02 ERA, 149 strikeouts and 162 1/3 innings. The left-hander is tied with Mark Hendrickson and Casey Fossum for the most wins.

"He's 21, he's a little inconsistent at times, but from the pitcher that we brought up last September to the pitcher that we have here this September, there is a whole lot of improvement," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.

"From his stuff to posture and presence, the whole thing has improved and that's what you want to see in a young pitcher."

Kazmir (8-9) allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked one in seven innings. He escaped a jam in the first, when he put the first two runners on.

Reed Johnson led off with a double and Russ Adams followed with a single, but Vernon Wells popped out, Shea Hillenbrand grounded out and Aaron Hill popped out to first.

"It set the tone," Kazmir said. "To get out of that is a big confidence booster."

He was 0-4 with a 6.04 ERA in four career starts against Toronto before Sunday.

"The first few times against them I was nibbling a little bit, not worrying about getting ahead," Kazmir said. "I was trying to make the perfect pitch."

Joe Borowski pitched the eighth and Danys Baez finished for his 33rd save in 40 chances as the Devil Rays recorded their third shutout of the season.

"Kazmir didn't make too many mistakes, and when he did we didn't do much," Adams said. "He's a good young pitcher. He's going to be good for a long time."

Toby Hall drove in the lone run with a sacrifice fly in the second. Tampa Bay has won two straight after losing five in a row.

The Blue Jays managed just two hits in Saturday's loss and have dropped 12 of their last 16. Toronto has been shut out 11 times, tied with Oakland for most in the AL.

"When it goes bad it seems like it goes bad for everybody," Adams said. "I don't know what the key is going to be to get out of it."

The Devil Rays put two runners on in the second and capitalized. Travis Lee and Damon Hollins hit consecutive singles off Dave Bush (4-8) before Hall hit his sacrifice fly to center.

Bush allowed one run on six hits, while striking out five and walking none in seven-plus innings.

Notes

  • Florida manager Jack McKeon won his 1,000th major-league game on Saturday. Piniella played on the Kansas City Royals when McKeon won his first on April, 7, 1973. "I didn't play that well that year," said Piniella, who hit .250 that season. "I held out that spring. I missed most of spring training and didn't recover. I don't think Jack was totally enthralled with me." The Royals traded Piniella to New York after the season. "It worked out great," he said.
  • Toronto DH Frank Menechino left the game after the second after being plunked on his left leg by a pitch in the second.
  • Tampa Bay OF Aubrey Huff left the team on Sunday because of personal reasons. He'll rejoin them in New York on Tuesday. The Devil Rays have Monday off.
  • Kazmir rebounded from back-to-back poor outings. He lasted 5 2/3 innings in his last start and just 2 1-3 in the one before that.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

S. Kazmir
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 9
Tampa Bay

J. Gomes
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Julio Lugo, SS3000001 .303
Carl Crawford, LF4010001 .288
Jorge Cantu, 2B4000011 .292
Jonny Gomes, DH4020011 .284
Travis Lee, 1B4110012 .284
Damon Hollins, RF4010011 .256
Toby Hall, C2001010 .285
Alex Gonzalez, 3B3010021 .253
Joey Gathright, CF3010001 .287
Totals31171079 
Batting
2B - Alex Gonzalez (16, Bush)
SF - Toby Hall (6)
RBI - Toby Hall (42)
SB - Carl Crawford (39, 2nd base off Bush/Quiroz), Jonny Gomes (5, 2nd base off Bush/Quiroz), Joey Gathright (12, 2nd base off Bush/Quiroz)
CS - Jonny Gomes (5, 2nd base by Frasor/Quiroz)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Hall-Lugo
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Scott Kazmir (W,8-9) 7400190 4.02
Joe Borowski (H,17) 1000110 3.31
Danys Baez (S,33) 1000000 2.61
HBP - Menechino (by Scott Kazmir)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 108-74, Joe Borowski 21-13, Danys Baez 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 5-6, Joe Borowski 1-1, Danys Baez 1-2
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 26, Joe Borowski 4, Danys Baez 3
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF3010020 .274
   a- Frank Catalanotto, PH-LF0000100 .289
Russ Adams, SS4020011 .269
Vernon Wells, CF3000104 .274
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B4000014 .288
Aaron Hill, 3B3000003 .281
   b- Corey Koskie, PH1000000 .243
Alex Rios, RF4010010 .263
Frank Menechino, DH0000000 .222
   c- Gabe Gross, PH-DH2000021 .214
Guillermo Quiroz, C3000021 .000
Orlando Hudson, 2B3000011 .273
Totals3004021015 
a-walked for Johnson in the 8th
b-flied out for Hill in the 9th
c-struck out for Menechino in the 4th
Batting
2B - Reed Johnson (17, Kazmir)
CS - Alex Rios (8, 2nd base by Kazmir/Hall)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - R. Adams-Hillenbrand
Toronto Blue Jays
Dave Bush (L,4-8) 7611050 4.12
Jason Frasor 2100020 3.77
HBP - Lugo (by Dave Bush)
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 98-71, Jason Frasor 23-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 8-8, Jason Frasor 1-1
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 28, Jason Frasor 5
Game Information
Attendance - 20679
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Randy Marsh