Nomo wins Devil Rays debut

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Barry Zito is looking ahead to his
next start instead of obsessing about his bad outing.

Josh Phelps and Aubrey Huff both hit three-run homers and the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays roughed up Zito in an 11-2 win over the
Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.

Phelps and Huff homered during a seven-run second that put Tampa
Bay ahead 7-0. The Devil Rays started the inning with five
consecutive hits off Zito (0-2), who gave up a career-high 11 runs
in just 3 1-3 innings.

"I'm already looking forward to my next start," Zito said.
"You can't lump the games together. It's all over tonight."

The seven runs were the most Zito has ever allowed in an inning.
The left-hander, who gave up six runs twice before, allowed seven
hits and three walks, and continued his April struggles. Despite a
career record of 72-42, he is 10-11 in the first month of the

In his first two starts this season, Zito has allowed 15 runs
and 13 hits spanning 9 1-3 innings.

"I'm trying to be too fine," Zito said. "I need to attack the
strike zone. I tried to nibble too much."

Hideo Nomo (1-0) won his Tampa Bay debut, giving up one run and
one hit in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.

"He was just awesome," Devil Rays catcher Toby Hall said. "It
was fun to catch him."

Nomo went 4-11 with an 8.25 ERA in 18 starts for the Los Angeles
Dodgers last season, and was on the disabled list twice with finger
and shoulder injuries. Tampa Bay signed the right-hander as a free
agent in January.

The Devil Rays limited the Athletics to just three hits --
including two homers. Mark Kotsay hit a solo shot off Nomo in the
third, and Keith Ginter added a solo homer off reliever Lance
Carter in the eighth for Oakland's runs.

Zito was hit on the left foot by Julio Lugo's leadoff infield
single in the second. After Jorge Cantu singled, Phelps hit a
three-run homer on a 3-2 pitch.

Eduardo Perez had an infield single and went to second on Hall's
single. Joey Gathright bunted and reached safely to load the bases
when third baseman Eric Chavez was charged with an error for a bad

Carl Crawford had a sacrifice fly before Huff's three-run shot
made it 7-0. Huff tied Fred McGriff for the most homers by a Tampa
Bay player with 99.

"Barry let a couple of guys on, and this place turned into
Coors Field," Oakland catcher Jason Kendall said. "Barry's got
about 33 starts left to go this year. He'll get on track."

Crawford extended the Tampa Bay lead to 8-1 with an RBI single
in the fourth. Crawford stole second and third before Zito loaded
the bases on walks to Alex Gonzalez and Huff.

"One of our better offense games since I've been here against a
real good pitcher," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.

Keiichi Yabu replaced Zito and gave up a two-run single to Lugo,
and an RBI double to Phelps.

Nomo retired 17 of his final 18 batters, and is now three wins
short off 200 combined for his Japanese and major league careers.

"It felt real good to contribute," Nomo said through an
interpreter. "Because we scored a lot of runs, it made it easier.
It's a lot of fun to go out there when you score a lot of runs."

Game notes
Zito also had a batted ball go off his right shin, but said
he has no pain and is OK. ... Zito allowed nine runs in four
innings against Anaheim on April 23, 2004. ... Yabu became the
first Japanese player to pitch for Oakland. The 11-year veteran in
Japan signed with the Athletics in January. ... Nomo made his 300th
major league start. The rest of Tampa Bay's rotation has 213. ...
Tampa Bay stole five bases through the fourth inning, equaling the
team record for a nine-inning game. ... Kotsay went 1-for-1 with a
walk, ending his season-opening streak of four straight multihit
games. Bobby Kielty pinch-hit for Kotsay in the sixth with the
Athletics trailing by 10 runs.