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Colome's injury adds to Rays' bad road trip

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published September 10, 2004

NEW YORK - As if the Rays don't have enough problems, reliever Jesus Colome might be done for the season.

Colome faced one batter Thursday night in the sixth inning of Game 2 of the doubleheader with the Yankees. He gave up a home run to Derek Jeter and then was seen shaking his right arm. Manager Lou Piniella investigated and took the right-hander out.

Piniella said Colome will fly back to Tampa and have an MRI exam either today or Saturday.

"It's the same stuff that's been bothering him before," Piniella said. "We'll probably shut him down for the year."

Colome has battled shoulder soreness for about a month and hadn't pitched in six days while on anti-inflammatory drugs. Piniella said Colome gave the thumbs-up when asked if he could pitch. But after one batter he apparently could not.

"I said, "Son, you've got to tell somebody,"' Piniella said.

NEW YORK MOMENT: It's not exactly the way Scott Kazmir wanted to return to New York, but he'll take it.

The Rays pitcher lost his scheduled start Thursday at Yankee Stadium because Wednesday's rained-out doubleheader messed up the rotation. But when the left-hander walked to the mound in the fourth inning, the 20-year-old admitted, "That was pretty cool.

"You're not human if you don't enjoy pitching at Yankee Stadium."

Kazmir was acquired from the Mets in the Victor Zambrano deal, and this was his first appearance in New York. But Kazmir, who at one point was thought untouchable, said he has nothing to prove.

He pitched three innings, allowed two hits and struck out four, but walked three in Game 1. The highlight was striking out Jeter to end the fifth inning.

"After that happened, I was like, "Damn,' " Kazmir said.

"He did a good job," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He walked somebody and there were a couple of hits, but it looks like he's got a live arm."

Sometimes too live. Kazmir's first walk forced in an inherited runner in the third. He walked one and allowed two straight singles in the sixth to allow another run.

"It's just I want to say mechanics," said Kazmir, who has 13 walks in 16 innings. "It's just something as I go along I'll get more into a rhythm, more into a routine and it will be easier to throw strikes."

"It's early," Piniella said. "We like his arm. We like the fact that he competes very well. He still has a ways to go to become a major-league pitcher. He has to get better command, but the ingredients are there. It's just a question of gaining experience and getting better."

CRAWFORD PLAYS: Rays leftfielder Carl Crawford made his first start in Game 1 after missing seven with inflammation in his right shoulder. MAKEUP DATE: There was a rumor the Rays might fly to New York on Sept.23 to make up the first game of Monday's doubleheader, not played because of travel troubles with Hurricane Frances.

While remote, it would create an unusual situation. The Rays, who play at home Sept.22 and 24 but are off the 23rd, would play the first game of a doubleheader, with the Yankees playing Toronto in Game 2.

Otherwise the game likely will be played, if necessary, Oct.4, the day after the scheduled end of the regular season.

Third baseman Geoff Blum did not dismiss the idea of playing Sept.23.

"Whatever it takes to get me home Oct.3 or 4," he said.

ODDS AND ENDS: Home plate umpire Jerry Crawford left Game 1 with a concussion after the second inning. He was hit when a ball thrown by Rays starter Dewon Brazelton hit Cairo's left shoulder and deflected off Crawford's head. He was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital for a CAT scan. Phil Cuzzi, at the stadium to work Game 2, took over at second base in the fifth. ... Piniella opened trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. While not as dramatic as the bell ringing done at the New York Stock Exchange, Piniella said pushing the start button was an experience. "I don't know if it was power but it was interesting," he said.

[Last modified September 10, 2004, 01:15:35]

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