Devil Rays Edge White Sox 4-3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Carl Crawford hit his first homer since opening day, a three-run drive with one out in the ninth inning Friday night that gave the Tampa Bay Devil Rays a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Crawford also hit a three-run homer in the ninth to beat Boston on March 31. This time he drove a 0-1 pitch from Billy Koch (5-5) into the right-field seats after Javier Valentin walked and pinch-hitter Al Martin singled.
Jesus Colome (2-4) pitched one inning and won despite giving up a solo homer to Brian Daubach in the top of the ninth. Roberto Alomar drove in Chicago’s other two runs for his first RBIs with the White Sox.
Tampa Bay won consecutive games for the first time since May 15-16. Chicago, which had won six of its previous seven, came within two outs of climbing over .500 for the first time since May 2.
White Sox starter Bartolo Colon allowed one run and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings before departing with a 2-1 lead. Koch blew a save for the fourth time in 15 chances.
Alomar, playing his second game since being obtained from the New York Mets for three prospects, went 2-for-3 and drove in Chicago’s first two runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single off Victor Zambrano in the second. He is 3-for-8 since joining the White Sox on Wednesday.
Aubrey Huff had two of Tampa Bay’s eight hits off Colon, who took a five-hitter into the seventh and had only allowed one runner past second before Julio Lugo hit his third homer of the season.
Colon was lifted after singles by the next two batters, Crawford and Rocco Baldelli. Reliever Damaso Marte struck out Huff to get out of the inning. Marte pitched a perfect eighth before turning the game over to Koch.
Both of Chicago’s runs off Zambrano were unearned, and he allowed four hits in eight innings.
Huff singled off Colon with two outs in the first and doubled with one out in the fourth. Javier Valentin and Lugo singled for Tampa Bay with two outs in the fifth, but Colon fanned Crawford.
Zambrano limited Chicago to three hits through six innings, but got into trouble in the second when he walked Daubach and Joe Crede, loading the bases after Carl Everett’s reached on an error.
Alomar lined a single to right to drive in Everett and Daubach for a 2-0 lead. His pair of singles were the only hits off Zambrano until Jose Valentin singled with two outs in the fifth.
Notes: Zambrano had four of Tampa Bay’s five wins in June, allowing 11 earned runs and 23 hits in 42 innings. ... Chicago’s Frank Thomas walked in the third inning, moving ahead of Hall of Famer Willie McCovey for 26th on the career list with 1,346. ... Devil Rays 2B Marlon Anderson booted Everett’s grounder, setting up Chicago’s runs in the second inning. It was only the second error for Tampa Bay in 14 games.