St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum

Print storySubscribe to the Times

Party spoilers: Rays beat Yanks

Published March 30, 2004

[AP photos]
Julio Lugo hits an RBI double off New York Yankees starter Mike Mussina as Yankees' catcher Jorge Posada looks on in the sixth inning.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, right, and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani throw ceremonial first pitches.
Rey Sanchez, right, advances to second after teammate Damian Rolls singled to third.

TOKYO - The Yankees and Hideki Matsui have been the primary attractions all week in Japan. But when it came time to play a game that mattered, the Devil Rays took the headlines - and the victory.

In an unusual setting in a far away land, the Devil Rays opened their season in spectacular fashion, beating the Yankees 8-3.

"It was a heck of a win against a really good Yankees team and we're proud of it," manager Lou Piniella said.

Down 2-0 and 3-2, the Rays tied the game on Jose Cruz Jr.'s leadoff homer in the sixth, then went ahead to stay later in the inning when Julio Lugo, who won 1-million yen (about $10,000), a ceremonial samarai helmet and a color copier as the game MVP, doubled in Tino Martinez. Lugo also made a spectacular defensive play, running and diving for a pop fly at a key juncture.

Martinez had three hits in his first game for his hometown Rays, including a two-run homer in the seventh that was the 300th of his career, making him the 99th player in history to reach that mark. Toby Hall also had three hits and knocked in three runs.

After a shaky start, Victor Zambrano settled down to pitch six solid innings, and Lance Carter and new closer Danys Baez did the rest.

"I think what you saw tonight is what you'll get," Hall said. "Everyone contributing like this. It was fun."

The game was technically a Devil Rays home game, but it hardly looked or sounded that way, not with nearly the entire Tokyo Dome sellout crowd of 55,000 pulling for the Yankees, but giving the Rays some polite applause when appropriate.

Aubrey Huff thought they should have gone home happy.

"They got a good game, Matsui got his hit and we got a win," Huff said.

Alex Rodriguez was 1-for-4 in his Yankees debut and Gary Sheffield was 2-for-2.

NOTE: The Rays made a roster move just before gametime, optioning pitcher Doug Waechter to Triple-A to add outfielder/infielder Charles Gipson to the roster. The Rays wanted Gipson to add depth because Cruz has a sore right calf.

[Last modified March 30, 2004, 09:38:52]

Today's lineup
Different start for a different season?
Rays reward LaMar
Rays in Japan
Rolls wins the battle for third base

The Bucs are ready to rush forward

Ouch, it's Ottawa
Andreychuk breaks barrier again
St. Louis has no say, literally

Other sports

  • PBA welcomes women on the all-male tour

  • College basketball
  • Women: Baylor questions review
  • Women: Grating expectations dog determined Duke
  • Women: LSU gets its first Final Four
  • Women: Stanford's Powell can reach two goals
  • Women: UConn makes Final Four for fifth straight season
  • NIT: The end of the road for weary foursome
  • Teams must go to great pains to win

  • College football
  • Added trouble for USF's Fisher

  • Colleges
  • NCAA discusses recruiting changes
  • FIU hires ex-assistant Rouco as its new coach

  • In brief
  • Fish fills out Davis Cup team

  • Motorsports
  • Gentilozzi glad to be back at a racetrack
  • Series head: Ex-GM's cash demand put GP on hold

  • NBA
  • Overtime remains kind a fifth time to Grizzlies

  • NFL
  • Modell meeting end of career

  • NHL
  • Colorado's Moore grateful for support, unsure of return

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Daily fishing report

  • Preps
  • Brandon exonerated, excoriated
  • FHSAA may halve classes

  • Spring Training 2004
  • Williams returns to OF after appendectomy
  • Uh-oh: Griffey strains right calf
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111

     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week