Series: Game 1 of 3

Tampa Bay leads 1-0 (as of 6/28)

Game 1: Friday, June 28
Florida 0Final
Tampa Bay 4
Game 2: Saturday, June 29
Florida 3Final
Tampa Bay 2
Game 3: Sunday, June 30
Florida 5Final
in 12
Tampa Bay 6

Marlins 0

(40-39, 18-21 away)

Devil Rays 4

(27-50, 16-22 home)

    7:15 PM ET, June 28, 2002

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    FLA 000000000 0 - -
    TB 03000010 - 4 - -

    W: W. Alvarez (2-2)

    L: R. Dempster (5-7)

    Alvarez goes seven strong innings vs. Marlins

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Wilson Alvarez didn't say much about winning at Tropicana Field for the first time in nearly three years.

    Wilson Alvarez

    The Tampa Bay Devil Rays left-hander also was at a loss for words to explain his recent success against Florida after pitching four-hit ball for seven innings in Friday night's 4-0 victory over the Marlins.

    "I'm not really thinking about that stuff,'' Alvarez said. "When I go out there, I try to do the best I can, do my job, give the team a chance to win. That's all that's on my mind right now.''

    Alvarez, who missed the last two seasons recovering from rotator cuff surgery, struck out five and walked three to extend his streak of scoreless innings against the Marlins this season to 13.

    He gave up four hits in six innings before leaving a scoreless game at Florida on June 16. Tampa Bay won that game 4-1 and has taken three of four from its intrastate rivals this year.

    "I have no idea what it is. I'm not even thinking,'' Alvarez said of his domination of the Marlins. "I just go, here it is. Hopefully, it's hit to somebody. So far, it's working.''

    The Devil Rays, who have won three straight overall, scored three times in the second and added Jared Sandberg's solo homer off Ryan Dempster (5-7) in the seventh.

    Dempster went eight innings for his third complete game of the season.

    "Some nights you're dealt a bunch of runs. Some nights you've got to be good,'' Dempster said. "Tonight I made some mistakes, cost us some runs. It comes down to not making the big pitch when I needed to. There's really nothing more to it.''

    Alvarez (2-2) hadn't won at home since Aug. 24, 1999, when he beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5. He limited the Marlins to an infield single and three walks through five innings, picking up where he left off in his other start against Florida.

    Travis Phelps pitched a scoreless eighth, and Esteban Yan finished the five-hitter.

    Luis Castillo led off the Marlins' sixth with a single -- his 100th hit of the season. Cliff Floyd singled two outs later, but Alvarez escaped the jam when Derek Lee flied out to the warning track in left field.

    The Marlins also threatened in the second when Alvarez walked Floyd and Lee before striking out the next two batters. First baseman Steve Cox saved at least one run when he dived to knock down Mike Redmond's infield hit and scrambled to his feet to throw to out Floyd, who was trying to score from second.

    Florida stranded runners in scoring position in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, too.

    The closest the Marlins came to scoring was the seventh, when Kevin Millar hit a ground-rule double that landed on one of the catwalks above the outfield of Tampa Bay's domed stadium. The umpires initially signaled a home run.

    "We were right there the whole game. We couldn't get that two-out rally,'' Millar said. "They scored three with two outs. That's what you need.''

    Dempster settled down after giving up an RBI triple to Chris Gomez and run-scoring singles to Sandberg and Brent Abernathy in the second. The right-hander held the Devil Rays to Gomez's double and Aubrey Huff's single over the next four innings to keep Tampa Bay from increasing its lead.

    Dempster allowed nine hits, struck out six and walked one.

    Game notes

    Tampa Bay has won five of the last seven games in the intrastate rivalry, but trail the series 16-10. ... Castillo reached 100 hits faster than any other player in Marlins history, getting No. 100 in the team's 79th game -- four games quicker than Jeff Conine in 1994. ... Florida manager Jeff Torborg said RHP Brad Penny will start Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs. He's been on the 15-day disabled list since May 19 with right biceps inflammation. ... Marlins RHP Josh Beckett, who has a blister on his right middle finger, is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Monday before beginning a two-game rehabilitation assignment. Barring a setback, he's expected to rejoin the rotation July 16.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press