BOSTON (AP) -- Curt Schilling was struggling and his perfect
record at Fenway Park with Boston was in jeopardy -- and he knew
Tampa Bay wasn't going to make his outing any easier.
"You can say what you want about strength of schedule or teams
under .500," Schilling said. "There are no patsies in this
league. If you don't go out and execute, you're going to get into
trouble, and tonight was about execution."
Aubrey Huff hit one of Tampa Bay's four homers and the Devil
Rays handed Schilling his first home loss this season, snapping a
nine-game road losing streak with an 8-3 victory Monday night over
the Red Sox.Schilling was 7-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 11 previous starts for
Boston at Fenway."I didn't feel as sharp as usual," Schilling said after
allowing a season-worst three homers in five-plus innings. "I've
won with worse stuff."Toby Hall hit a two-run homer, and Tino Martinez and Julio Lugo
each added a solo shot for Tampa Bay, which had been 0-3 and had
scored just three runs in 23 1-3 innings against Schilling this
season."I think he left some fastballs up over the plate," Huff said.
"I think he elevated more than he wanted."Gabe Kapler was 3-for-4 with a solo homer for the Red Sox, who
played at home for the first time since trading All-Star shortstop
Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs on July 31.He was still on the minds -- and backs -- of many Boston fans.
Throughout the stands, there were a number of people -- mostly
children -- wearing white home jerseys with a red "No. 5" on the
back, or blue batting practice T-shirts with "Garciaparra" along
the shoulders.John Halama (6-5) won for just the second time in eight starts,
giving up three runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings, striking out
six without walking a batter. Travis Harper worked two scoreless
innings in relief, and Lance Carter pitched the ninth.Schilling (13-6) allowed six runs and 10 hits. His ERA rose from
3.38 to 3.73."Our guys just hung in there and finally started to get to him
in the middle innings," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said."I thought he made more mistakes than certainly usual," Boston
manager Terry Francona said.Red Sox pitchers have allowed 11 homers the past two games.Tampa Bay grabbed a 3-1 lead, scoring three runs with two outs
in the fifth. Lugo had an RBI double after Carl Crawford doubled.
Huff followed with his 21st homer, a high drive into the seats
behind the Devil Rays' bullpen.Boston cut it to 3-2 in the fifth on Kevin Youkilis' RBI single,
but the Devil Rays chased Schilling in a four-run sixth.Martinez homered into the right-field seats, his 17th. Geoff
Blum singled and Hall followed with a homer into the seats above
the Green Monster, making it 6-2.Terry Adams relieved and struck out his first two batters before
Lugo homered off the right-field foul pole.Youkilis' run-scoring groundout cut it to 7-3 in the seventh.
Crawford's RBI grounder made it 8-3 in the eighth.Kapler's leadoff homer into the seats above the Green Monster
gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the third.
Boston slugger Manny Ramirez missed his third straight game
with the flu. ... Hall has two hits in his last 32 at-bats. The
other was a go-ahead grand slam against the Red Sox last Wednesday.
... SS Orlando Cabrera and 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, both acquired in
the four-team, eight-player trade that sent Garciaparra to Chicago,
each made a nice defensive play. ... Boston's David Ortiz needs two
RBI to reach 100 for the second consecutive season. ... Eight of
Tampa Bay's 13 hits went for extra bases. ... Francona said after
the game that RHP Scott Williamson, on the 15-day DL with an elbow
strain, won't throw for a couple of weeks because of "inflammation
in the area we're talking about."