tampabay.com

Hollins' gaffe costs game

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published October 2, 2005


ST. PETERSBURG - Damon Hollins said he wants to forget what happened as soon as possible.

It will be difficult for the Devil Rays outfielder who Saturday night at Tropicana Field committed one of those goofs that make blooper aficionados drool. Worse, it accounted for the deciding run in Tampa Bay's 4-3 loss to the Orioles.

"I looked up and saw all the infielders looking at me like I was a ghost," Hollins said. "That's when I knew I did something wrong."

What Hollins did was make a terrific running catch of Eric Byrnes' foul ball while hitting and bending over the low leftfield wall. Hollins straightened, triumphantly held up his glove and then hook-shot the ball into the stands.

Trouble was, there were only two outs and David Newhan scored from second for a 4-2 Baltimore lead in the seventh.

"I just thought there were three outs," Hollins said. "It was my mistake."

"It was funny to see his face," shortstop Julio Lugo said. "He's going to make both the highlights and the bloopers."

It also took the edge off one of Tampa Bay's best continuing stories.

Mark Hendrickson may have lost his seven-decision winning streak, but he pitched nine innings as the Rays avoided becoming the first major-league team to go a season without a complete game.

Hendrickson, who hadn't lost since July 20, a stretch of 12 starts, allowed three earned runs on eight hits, including home runs to Melvin Mora and Sal Fasano.

The left-hander consoled Hollins with a friendly tap.

"That's something every one of us has been through at some point in our careers," he said. "Nobody feels worse than him."

Hollins joins then-Rockies outfielder Larry Walker and Boston's Trot Nixon, who committed the same error and can watch it over and over on blooper reels.

"What can you do?" Hollins said. "It happens every now and then. You just hope you're not the culprit behind it. It was on me (Saturday)."

And your TV, too.