Left-handers are supposed to have a tough time in Fenway Park. Visiting southpaws are really supposed to struggle with the Green Monster looming over their shoulder.
Nobody told Scott Kazmir.
Tampa Bay's ace scattered five singles and struck out 10 in seven innings Monday night and the Devil Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0.
In nine career starts in Boston, Kazmir is 4-3 with a 2.73 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 52 2-3 innings. On July 29, he blanked the Red Sox for six innings at Fenway Park. On Monday, he threw a season-high 118 pitches.
The last of those came after manager Joe Maddon found a way to fire up Kazmir with a visit to the mound.
The lefty walked Jason Varitek with one out in the seventh to put runners at first and second.
``I said, 'This is not a normal game. This is a playoff game.' That's what I whispered in his ear,'' Maddon said. ``I wanted him to get used to this stuff.''
Kazmir then struck out Jacoby Ellsbury and retired Alex Cora on a forceout at third.
``It pumped me up,'' Kazmir said. ``I was going on adrenaline to begin with, but that intensified it.''
In other AL games on Monday, it was: Oakland 9, Seattle 3; Detroit 5, Toronto 4; Cleveland 6, Chicago 2; and Minnesota 4, Kansas City 2.
Kazmir faced a Boston lineup that was without Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in the same game for the first time this season.
``They threw a different lineup out there, took away a lot of the lefties,'' said Kazmir (12-8), who let just two runners reach second base. ``It was nice to see Big Papi out of the lineup.''
But Kazmir had been sharp against both power hitters. Ramirez is batting .154 against him (6-for-39) and Ortiz is hitting .147 (5-for-34). Ramirez missed his 13th straight game with a strained muscle in his left side. Ortiz, a lefty, has a sore right knee, but grounded out as a pinch hitter in the ninth against Al Reyes, who got his 24th save. Right fielder J.D. Drew, another lefty, also sat.
``Other than that, we had the regular guys,'' Boston's Coco Crisp said. Kazmir ``is good pretty much all the time.''
Kazmir struck out at least 10 for the fourth time this season and 12th in his career. When he struck out Crisp in the first, Kazmir became the eighth active pitcher to record 200 strikeouts in a season by the age of 23.
Curt Schilling (8-7) struck out five and allowed one run, five hits and a walk in six innings.
Greg Norton led off the fifth with a double, took third on Dioner Navarro's sacrifice and scored on Josh Wilson's sacrifice fly.
``We have to play fundamental baseball and we were able to do that,'' Norton said. ``We were able to come out with a 1-0 victory, which doesn't happen too often in Boston.''
The last time the Red Sox lost 1-0 at home was on Sept. 2, 2001, when the New York Yankees' Mike Mussina lost a perfect game with two outs in the ninth.
Tampa Bay is 13-4 in its last 17 games but is in last place in the AL East. Boston is 7-3 in its last 10 games, but its lead in the division dropped to five games over the Yankees, who were idle.
Athletics 9, Mariners 3
Kurt Suzuki and Dan Johnson hit grand slams as visiting Oakland handed Seattle its 14th loss in 16 games.
The Mariners dropped 5 1/2 games behind the wild card-leading Yankees and 8 1/2 behind Los Angeles in the AL West. On Aug. 26, Seattle was leading the wild-card race by two games and was one game behind the Angels.
Joe Blanton (13-9) allowed two runs and eight hits over seven innings while winning for the fifth time in six decisions. Suzuki hit his first career grand slam in the second to put Oakland up 5-0, while Johnson hit his third in the ninth.
Horacio Ramirez (7-6) lasted 1 2-3 innings and allowed five runs and four hits.
Tigers 5, Blue Jays 4
Magglio Ordonez's two-run single capped host Detroit's four-run rally in the ninth inning.
Toronto's Roy Halladay was one out away from his eighth complete game when he gave up singles to Sean Casey and Brandon Inge. Casey Janssen (2-3) relieved and Curtis Granderson hit a two-run single to make it 4-3. Placido Polanco followed with a single and Gary Sheffield walked to load the bases for Ordonez, who was 4-for-5 and raised his major league-leading average to .359.
The Tigers have won four of five and climbed within 3 1/2 games of idle New York in the AL wild-card race.
Yorman Bazardo (1-1), making seventh appearance this season, worked the ninth for his first career win.
Indians 6, White Sox 2
Rookie Asdrubal Cabrera hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh and added a sacrifice fly in the ninth for visiting Cleveland, which has won 14 of its last 17 games and holds a six-game lead over second-place Detroit in the AL Central.
The game was delayed by rain after the seventh inning for 2 hours and 23 minutes. It resumed just before midnight and the last two innings were played before a few hundred fans.
Fausto Carmona (16-8) allowed two runs, one earned. and three hits in seven innings. He was forced to leave by the long delay.
Gavin Floyd (1-3) pitched 6 1-3 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits for the White Sox, who are tied with Tampa Bay for the worst record in the majors.
Twins 4, Royals 2
Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau both drove in two runs and Boof Bonser picked up his second victory in three months for visiting Minnesota.
Bonser (7-12), who was 1-10 in his past 15 starts, held the Royals to two runs and five hits in five innings. Four relievers scattered four hits the rest of the way.
Mike Sweeney had a two-run double for the Royals, who have lost six straight.

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