Gomes, D-Rays avoid sweep


BOSTON (AP) – Jonny Gomes homered twice, and Scott Kazmir held Boston to four hits before a sixth-inning injury as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Red Sox 5-1 on Thursday night and handed knuckleballer Tim Wakefield another tough-luck loss.

Kazmir (3-1) allowed one run – Dustan Mohr’s solo homer – and one walk while striking out seven in 5 2-3 innings to stop Boston’s four-game winning streak. He was pulled from the game after 101 pitches with a 2-2 count on Manny Ramirez; the team announced Kazmir had muscle cramps in his left thumb and wrist.

Travis Harper pitched 2 2-3 innings before loading the bases in the ninth, and Dan Miceli got two outs for his fourth save, striking out Trot Nixon and retiring pinch-hitter Jason Varitek on a flyout.

Wakefield (1-3) allowed three runs – two of them earned – four hits and two walks, striking out two in eight innings.

In his previous start Saturday, he pitched a complete game but lost 3-0; the Red Sox have scored a total of one run in his three losses. The knuckleballer hadn’t allowed a Tampa Bay runner before walking Jorge Cantu on four pitches with one out in the fourth. Travis Lee doubled down the right-field line to score Cantu, with Wily Mo Pena grabbing the ball with his bare hand to keep it from rattling around to the outfield wall for even more. Lee stole third on strike three to Gomes and scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball. It was the sixth passed ball of the season for Josh Bard, who is Wakefield’s personal catcher.

Gomes homered in the seventh to make it 3-1 and again in the ninth to give the Devil Rays a 4-1 lead

It was his second career multihomer game.

Damon Hollins and Ty Wigginton hit consecutive doubles to make it 5-1.

Tampa Bay had lost eight in a row in Boston, but Kazmir has now started its last three wins at Fenway Park.

Notes: Tampa Bay OF Carl Crawford returned to the lineup after missing one game with a sore right shoulder. … Manager Joe Maddon said he had not decided on a starter for Saturday’s game against Texas, but that it would probably be a minor league callup. … Edgar Martinez presented Red Sox slugger David Ortiz with the outstanding designated hitter award before the game. Jim Rice presented Jason Varitek and Manny Ramirez with silver slugger awards. Varitek and Mike Lowell also received his Gold Glove in a pregame ceremony. … Josh Beckett professed apathy about Friday night’s matchup with A.J. Burnett: “I don’t have to face him. These guys do,” he said. “There’s definitely some significance, but I don’t put too much emphasis on it.” … The Red Sox called up INF/OF Willie Harris from Triple-A Pawtucket. … Wigginton has three errors in the last two games.

AP-ES-04-20-06 2153EDT