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Updated: Saturday, May 3, 2003 7:06 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
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R H E
8 10 0
Detroit Tigers
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R H E
6 12 1
W Levine (2-1)
L Ledezma (0-2)
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TAMPA BAY 8, DETROIT 6 (10 INNINGS)
 

DETROIT (Ticker) -- As if the Detroit Tigers do not have enough trouble, Damion Easley came back to haunt them.

Easley tripled to right field to bring home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays handed the Tigers their sixth straight defeat, 8-6.

Easley signed with the Devil Rays in early April after he was released by the Tigers even though two years and $14.3 million remained on his contract.

"There's a little satisfaction there," Easley said. "But that's what I say, I'm coming here to try to compete against my friends and try to beat them. I said that coming in and it really hasn't changed. I'm glad to just get an opportunity to do something."

Aubrey Huff hit a pair of two-run homers for the Devil Rays , who came back after squandering a 5-1 lead.

"The last week or so, I've changed something in my swing that's felt pretty comfortable for me," said Huff whose only other multi-homer game came last season against Boston. "I'm just getting some separation from my hands and my stride."

Huff started the 10th inning rally with a walk and pinch runner George Lombard was sacrificed by Travis Lee . Easley pinch hit for Al Martin and lofted a triple off Wilfredo Ledezma (0-2) to bring home the go-ahead run.

"When I first hit it, I hit it on the barrel but it was a little up," Easley said. "When I first hit it, I thought it was going to be caught but it just kept going and going and going."

Chris Truby later added an insurance run with an RBI single.

The Tigers fell to 3-25, by far the worst record in baseball, despite tying a season high for runs and setting a season high with 12 hits.

"This was an opportunity. It might have been our first one all year where we came back, tied it up, and had momentum," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "It's very frustrating that we couldn't finish it off."

All of the Detroit runs came on homers. Bobby Higginson hit a solo homer in the first and Carlos Pena added a two-run shot in the sixth off starter Dewon Brazelton .

The Tigers tied the game at 6-6 in the eighth on a three-run homer by Craig Monroe off Lance Carter .

"We had some fight in us today," Higginson said. "I think there's a lot of games where we would have just rolled over when we got behind but today we came back, we got some hits, people were up off the bench cheering. We haven't had a lot of that."

Al Levine (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

The Devil Rays were managed by bench coach John McLaren as Lou Piniella served a one-game suspension for his role in a beanball incident earlier this week in Minnesota.

"Last time I filled in for him he went back to Tampa, he had a death in his family," McLaren said. "We had a streak going at the time and all I was thinking was, 'don't let the streak stop now. Just keep it going, keep it going.'"

Brazelton, the third overall pick in the 2001 draft, made his first start of the season, allowing three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Tigers starter Adam Bernero allowed five runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings, including three runs in the third.

Rey Ordonez and Carl Crawford opened with singles before Ordonez was thrown out at home on a double steal. Crawford went to third on the play and scored on a sacrifice fly by Marlon Anderson .

Rocco Baldelli , the American League Rookie of the Month in April, walked and Huff followed with a homer to right field for a 3-1 lead.

Huff belted his seventh homer of the season two innings later to increase the lead to 5-1. The homer scored Anderson, who walked.

Anderson had an RBI single in the seventh to give the Devil Rays a 6-3 advantage.


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