ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Carl Crawford redeemed himself after
a baserunning mistake.
Julio Lugo singled home Crawford with one out in the ninth
inning, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays handed the Colorado Rockies
their season-worst eighth consecutive loss, 3-2 Sunday.Crawford hit a one-out single off Shawn Chacon (0-4) and stole
second uncontested. Lugo drove in Crawford with his single to
center, giving the Devil Rays their fifth straight victory."It's a lot of fun right now because we're winning," Crawford
said.Crawford also stole second in the seventh with the game tied at
2, but later was picked off by Jeff Fassero."I messed up early in the game, so I was just thinking about
trying to make it up," Crawford said. "That was an important run
when I got picked off."Crawford went 4-for-5. He leads the AL with 27 stolen bases.Jesus Colome (1-0) struck out three in 1 1-3 scoreless innings
for the win.Tampa Bay (26-34) has its best record ever after 60 games. The
Devil Rays are 16-6 since May 20."Right now, we just come to the field knowing that we can
win," Lugo said.Colorado has dropped 20 of 24 overall."We've just got to play one good game," Rockies manager Clint
Hurdle said. "Play one complete, good game and then try to turn it
into another complete, good game and see where it takes us. Build
some momentum."Todd Helton was in Colorado's lineup, one day after being hit on
the left wrist by a pitch in the ninth inning. He went 1-for-4, and
has 10 hits in 17 at-bats with eight RBI the past four games.Both starting pitchers had strong outings, but did not figure in
the decision.Tampa Bay's Dewon Brazelton allowed two runs and seven hits over
seven innings in his first start and second appearance of the
season. He was recalled from Triple-A Durham on June 3."He looked like a major league pitcher out there and his
performance speaks to it," Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said.
"It bodes very well for us."Fassero also went seven innings, giving up two runs and nine
hits for the Rockies. He has dropped 10 straight decisions since
his last win June 28 for St. Louis at Kansas City."We know it's a different thing each night," Fassero said.
"You come out and try to change one thing and something else goes
wrong."Fassero had lost his previous four appearances -- two in relief
and two as a starter.The Rockies took a 2-0 lead in the second on Denny Hocking's
run-scoring single and an RBI double by Aaron Miles.Miles went 2-for-5 for his ninth multihit effort in his past 12
games. He had eight hits in 15 at-bats during the three-game series
at Tampa Bay.The Devil Rays tied it in the fourth, keyed by a Colorado
defensive miscue. Jose Cruz Jr. scored from third when third
baseman Luis Gonzalez was charged with an error for misplaying a
potential inning-ending grounder by Geoff Blum.Colorado let another potential double play slip away when second
baseman Miles bobbled Robert Fick's fielder's choice grounder. Two
batters later, Crawford's RBI infield single got the Devil Rays
even.Tampa Bay threatened in three of the first four innings, but
went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position during the stretch.The Rockies loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, but
failed to score. Brazelton fell behind Hocking 3-0, but recovered
to get a fly out on a 3-2 pitch."It goes to show you, you stay after it and work hard, you've
got a chance to do these things," Piniella said. "And that's
exactly what's happening."
Crawford has stolen three bases in his last 13 games. ...
Brazelton is the 10th Tampa Bay starting pitcher in 60 games this
season. ... Rockies RF Jeromy Burnitz snapped an 0-for-11 skid with
a second-inning single. ... Fassero's last win as a starter was
Aug. 9, 2000, with Boston at Anaheim.