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Canseco's 31st Carries Tampa

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays left the Boston Red Sox frustrated again.

Jose Canseco hit his 31st homer and John Flaherty snapped a sixth-inning tie with an RBI single Thursday night that gave the Devil Rays their second straight 3-2 victory over the Red Sox.

Pedro Martinez lost to Tampa Bay by the same score the previous night, despite striking out 14.

"I guess they have our number this year," Boston's Brian Daubach said.

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  • "This is frustrating with as good a pitching as we're getting that we can't score a couple more runs."

    Canseco broke a 1-for-23 slump with his solo shot off Brian Rose (4-2) in the third inning. He scored the winning run on Flaherty's single after walking and taking second on a groundout.

    " It was a slider right over the middle of the plate," Canseco said of the homer that traveled an estimated 414 feet. "Even as bad as I've been slumping, I couldn't have missed it."

    Bobby Witt (5-5) won for the second time since May 1, allowing two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. Roberto Hernandez pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 28 opportunities.

    The loss was Boston's third straight after winning the opener of the four-game series. The Devil Rays won nine of 13 games between the teams this season, with Hernandez saving five of them.

    "We played good here. We just got beat," Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said. "They really played outstanding. They pitched good. When they had to make a play, they made it. When you play 162 games, sometimes these things happen. ut as long as you keep putting the effort into it and pitching like that, you're going to win."

    Canseco was 0-for-12 in the series with six strikeouts before homering off Rose for a 2-1 Devil Rays lead. Boston pulled even again in the sixth when Troy O'Leary singled after Damon Buford walked and stole second.

    Tampa Bay chased Rose in the bottom of the sixth. They took a 3-2 lead on Flaherty's RBI single and threatened to do more damage when Wade Boggs doubled to move within 22 hits of 3,000.

    Boggs also had the defensive play of game, making a diving stop of a ball off the bat of Wilton Veras in the eighth. The third baseman scrambled to his feet and made the throw to first to strand Red Sox runners at second and third.

    "We played well," Devil Rays manager Larry Rothschild said. "I think we've played well for a pretty good streak now."

    Rose allowed five hits in 5 2-3 innings, walked one and struck out to lose his second straight decision after winning his first four.

    Brian Rose can't get the win for Boston.>
    Brian Rose can't get the win for Boston. (AP)


    • Canseco's homer was only his second at Tropicana Field since June 5. His 21 road homers are tied with George Bell (Toronto, 1987) for the most road home runs ever at the All-Star break. The major league record for road homers in a season is 32 by Babe Ruth in 1927 and Mark McGwire in 1998.
    • Boston played without shortstop Nomar Garciaparra (sore groin) for the sixth straight game. Tampa Bay's starting shortstop, Kevin Stocker, also sat out the entire series because of tendinitis in his left knee.
    • When Tampa Bay pitcher Dave Eiland beat the Red Sox Wednesday night he was 14 days shy of going four years without a win. Among active pitchers, that's tied for the third longest drought between victories. Rudy Seanez went exactly the same period without one from July 12, 1990 to June 30, 1994. The longer stretches were by Paul Abbott (Aug. 7, 1991 to Sept. 9, 1998) and Anthony Telford (Sept. 19, 1990 to May 15, 1997).

      ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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