KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays had almost
forgotten what it felt like to win.
The Devil Rays came from behind twice Saturday night to beat the
Kansas City Royals 8-6, snapping a 12-game losing streak, the
second-longest in team history.
"I didn't know what to do after we won," said Julio Lugo, who
had three doubles. "I didn't know if we were supposed to smile or
cry. It's good to get that out of the way."
Tampa Bay, which had not won since beating Seattle on Aug. 25,
overcame deficits of 4-2 and 6-5, going ahead for good in a two-run
seventh. Lugo hit his third double of the game and scored on a wild
pitch by Jimmy Serrano (1-2), Aubrey Huff tripled and Jose Cruz Jr.
hit his second sacrifice fly. Carl Crawford added an RBI single in
the eighth off Jaime Cerda.
Lugo leads the Devil Rays with 35 doubles and tied the team
record for a game.
"It's very satisfying for me to get some hits," Lugo said.
"The thing I like the most is that I was able to help the team do
"It went back and forth the whole game," Tampa Bay manager Lou
Piniella said. "We're fortunate that we came out on top. Let's see
if this relaxes our team a little bit. Now we'll see if we can go
out and play a little better."
Tampa Bay, which wasted leads of 2-1 and 5-4, stopped its skid
three shy of the team record, set from April 25 to May 10, 2002.
The Devil Rays, who won 12 in a row from June 9-22, joined the 1987
Milwaukee Brewers as the only major league teams with 12-game
winning and losing streaks in the same year.
John Buck had three hits and homered for Kansas City.
Royals starter Jimmy Gobble allowed five runs and eight hits in
Tampa Bay starter Doug Waechter gave up four runs, six hits and
three walks in three innings.
"Waechter doesn't look anything at all like the pitcher we
brought up here last year," Piniella said. "I'm going to have a
nice talk with him (Sunday). I don't know if his finger is still
bothering him or if he's just rusty, but he had no rhythm."
Waechter missed 79 games with a strained tendon in his right
middle finger. This was his second start since being activated
Lugo hit an RBI double in the first and scored on Cruz's
sacrifice fly, but Abraham Nunez had an RBI single in the bottom
half. Angel Berroa was caught off second by Rocco Baldelli after
Nunez's single for the center fielder's 11th assist, tied for the
lead among AL outfielders. Baldelli, who had 14 assists last year,
is trying to become the first outfielder to lead the AL in his
initial two seasons.
Baldelli also homered and singled in the victory.
"It feels awesome," he said. "It's been so long that you
almost forget how it feels to walk off the field and slap hands.
We've been pressing and struggling. This win is big, but we've got
to come back tomorrow and win again."
Buck's RBI double tied it in the second, and Kansas City took a
4-2 lead in the third on run-scoring singles by Matt Stairs and Ken
Harvey, who stopped an 0-for-15 slide. Tampa Bay went ahead in the
fourth on Lugo's RBI double and Baldelli's two-run homer that just
missed the left-field foul pole.
The Royals tied it in the bottom half , then went ahead on
Buck's homer off Bell in the sixth.
Crawford stole his AL-leading 52nd base in the second
inning. ... Stairs got his first steal since June 2002. ... 3B
Geoff Blum's miscue extended the Devil Rays' team-record streak of
games with an error to 11. ... The Royals have gone 55 consecutive
series without a sweep. Their last sweep was against Texas in