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Devil Rays 7, Tigers 0

April 15, 2000

DETROIT (AP) _ Dwight Gooden, debuting for his hometown team, pitched six shutout innings for his first win since last July 28 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 7-0 Saturday.

Gooden (1-0), a Tampa native, was obtained Thursday in a trade with Houston and paid immediate dividends for the pitching-starved Devil Rays.

He mixed his fastball and curveball and kept the Tigers off-balance, holding them to four hits.

Jim Mecir and Jeff Sparks finished the six-hit shutout.

Jeff Weaver (0-1), who often lacked run support last season, made his first start of the year and allowed four runs _ three earned _ and eight hits in seven innings, with six strikeouts.

Gooden hadn’t won since leading the Indians to a 7-2 victory over the Tigers last July 28. That was his only win in his last 16 starts before Saturday.

The win was the second in three games for the Devil Rays after a five-game losing streak.

Singles from Dave Martinez and Jose Canseco set up a sacrifice fly from Fred McGriff that gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the first. Martinez made it 2-0 with another sacrifice fly in the third.

The Devil Rays broke the game open with a five-run eighth featuring Greg Vaughn’s two-run double and RBI singles from Miguel Cairo and Vinny Castilla.

Notes: Tampa Bay center-fielder Gerald Williams robbed Bobby Higginson of at least a triple and maybe an inside-the-park homer with a leaping grab of a drive to the right-center field wall in the second. ... The Tigers placed 2B Damion Easley on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Monday, with a strained right rib cage. ... The Devil Rays optioned RHP hander Cory Lidle to Triple-A Durham. Lidle had just been recalled Thursday and made one appearance, giving up two hits and two runs in one-third of an inning Friday.

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