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James struggles in third start as a Ray

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 28, 2002

BOSTON -- The no hits allowed by Derek Lowe was the news of the day. The five hits and six runs allowed by Rays rookie Delvin James turned out to be a short story.

James, who had been relatively impressive in his first two starts, was rather unimpressive Saturday. He gave up a home run to Rickey Henderson on his second pitch (the 80th leadoff homer of Henderson's career) and had all kinds of problems in the third inning, coming out after allowing five of the first six hitters to reach base.

"The first two innings I felt fine and had a good tempo," James said. "Then the third inning happened so fast it wasn't like I had time to figure it out and make an adjustment here or an adjustment there. Before you know it the bases were loaded, there was one out and I was coming out of the game."

Manager Hal McRae said he used a quick hook to minimize the damage to the 24-year-old's confidence.

"He was up (in the strike zone) and they were getting good swings," McRae said. "Today wasn't his day, and he'll try it next time out. That's what I told him on the mound."

Travis Harper had an impressive two-inning relief outing, striking out his first four batters.

INAPPROPRIATE ACTION: Jason Tyner is a good bunter but said he didn't consider trying to break up Lowe's no-hitter by laying one down during his sixth- or ninth-inning at-bats.

"Not in that situation when it's 8-9-10 nothing," Tyner said. "That's not really good baseball etiquette."

BEEN THERE: Sitting on the Rays bench, Wilson Alvarez knew what Lowe was going through -- he threw a no-hitter Aug. 11, 1991. "You're on top of the world," Alvarez said.

CHILLING: Greg Vaughn's average dropped to .108 after another 0-for-3 day. He is hitless in his last 25 at-bats and 7-for-81 since going 2-for-5 on opening night.

RUMOR MILL:'s Jayson Stark reports the Rays have told other teams "any pitcher on their staff -- except Joe Kennedy, Jesus Colome and Rule 5 pick Steve Kent -- is available, including Esteban Yan, Tanyon Sturtze and Paul Wilson.

MINOR MATTERS: Leftfielder Carl Crawford continued his torrid start at Triple-A with a three extra-base hit game Friday to increase his average to .381 with four homers and 12 RBIs, but McRae said he'll stay in Durham for a while.

MISCELLANY: Randy Winn, whose hitting streak ended at 12 games, is scheduled to get today off. Jason Conti will start in center. ... Injured pitchers Bobby Seay and Kevin McGlinchy are throwing live batting practice at the minor-league complex and could begin minor-league rehab assignments soon. ... Boston's Johnny Damon is expected to be out two or three days because of tightness in his right hamstring.

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