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Devil of a time

Page 2 of 2 -- Asked whether he felt Carter was throwing at his head, Ortiz said, "Oh, yeah -- what do you think?"

Ortiz said he doesn't believe Scott Kazmir was throwing at Sox hitters (he hit Ramirez and Millar Friday night), but he did say Kazmir needs to learn to pitch inside without hurting people.

"You throw the ball like that, you've got to learn location," Ortiz said. "He throws the ball hard."

Ortiz also took a shot at Piniella.

"Everybody is professional here," he said. "Everybody needs to act professional. It's not like we're playing baby games. Like sometimes I'm watching TV [in the clubhouse between at-bats] and their manager is going off on their pitcher just because they make a mistake. I never saw that before. And that tells you that sometimes everything is started because of him."

Piniella fired back at Ortiz, saying, "The umpires did a good job, except Ortiz should have been kicked out. I don't know why he stayed in. Once the batter leaves the batter's box and starts toward the mound, whether he grabs him or not, he should be ejected."

Piniella added, "If they are going to hit our batters, we're certainly going to do the same thing. In that case, the ball [to Ortiz] might have gotten away from [Carter]. Look, we walked nine batters. It wasn't like we had impeccable control."

In the bottom of the seventh, Arroyo wasted little time throwing at leadoff hitter Chris Singleton's legs, again prompting the dugouts and bullpens to empty. There were more angry words, with Curt Schilling appearing to call out someone on the Tampa Bay side.

Francona, already in trouble with Major League Baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson for his criticism of umpire Greg Gibson in an April 14 game against the Yankees, was a little perturbed by Kazmir hitting Ramirez and Millar Friday night after Kazmir had been ejected for hitting both players back-to-back in a game last September.

Piniella also felt Arroyo was purposely trying to hit Huff.

"They might dispute that," he said. "We're not going to be intimidated whether you are the world champions or not. I don't know what their intentions were and I'm not going to put words in anybody's mouth. I know we are going to protect our hitters."

Millar suffered quite a bruise and welt on his right shin, and had been hit by a pitch in the eighth inning Saturday night. Schilling also plunked Carl Crawford in that game.

Amid the sideshow, there was some baseball.

Johnny Damon knocked in two runs with four hits and was on base five times; Ramirez knocked in two runs, adding a sacrifice fly in the first inning to his solo homer. The Sox put together their first multirun first inning of the season, off Devil Rays starter Hideo Nomo, with Millar's single driving in the second run. The Sox scored their third run on Damon's double in the second inning after Edgar Renteria singled and stole second.

Arroyo, who led the majors with 20 hit batters last season, pitched well and went unbeaten for the 13th straight start. He pitched six innings and allowed seven hits and three earned runs. He probably would have pitched longer had it not been his "duty" to plunk Singleton.

"Nobody told me to do anything," Arroyo said. "I was just pitching."

When asked if he thought Arroyo might face a suspension, Francona defended him, saying, "I don't know what's going to happen -- he hit the guy in the thigh." 

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