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Kaufman firing blanks for St. Pete

Former University of Florida pitcher John Kaufman is off to another fast start in St. Petersburg. Kaufman, 9-5 last season with St. Petersburg and an integral part of the Devil Rays' Florida State League championship, is 3-1 with a 2.02 ERA.

Kaufman, 23, has recorded shutouts in his past two starts, 3-0 over Daytona and Sarasota. In 23 innings, Kaufman has 23 strikeouts.

Kaufman has been pitching well since his senior year at Florida, where he led the Gators in wins (11), innings pitched (125) and strikeouts (101). He led the Gators to a College World Series appearance. As a rookie with Butte in 1996, Kaufman was 2-3 with a 4.66 ERA before being promoted to St. Petersburg last year.

McCLAIN PLAYER OF WEEK: Durham 3B Scott McClain had a monster week from April 20-26. McClain hit four doubles and four home runs and drove in 16 RBI in four games against Indianapolis and Louisville. McClain was named the Triple-A International League Batter of the Week.

McClain, who played with Norfolk in the IL last season and had 29 doubles and 21 home runs, hit the winning home run in a 2-1 win over Indianapolis last Wednesday. Then, in a 21-run outburst against the Indians the next day, McClain had nine RBI with a single, a double and two home runs.

In a two-game series against Louisville, McClain was 4-for-8 with three doubles and a home run. McClain, a 22nd-round draft pick by the Orioles in 1990, is tied for the league lead with 21 RBI.

ORLANDO RAYS: Three Devil Rays are playing for the Double-A Orlando Rays of the Southern League as part of an agreement with the Seattle Mariners, who stock the team until Tampa Bay takes over next year. RHP Mickey Callaway is 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts. OF Kerry Robinson is hitting .273 with one RBI, two triples and two doubles. And OF Luke Wilcox is hitting .217 with five RBI and a home run.

ON THE MOVE: RHP Maximo Nunez moved from Double-A Orlando to Durham last week and appeared in three games. Nunez pitched four innings without much success. He has an 11.25 ERA and has allowed two home runs.

To make room for Nunez, RHP John LeRoy was moved to Orlando and placed on the 15-day disabled list. LeRoy has tendinitis in his throwing elbow.

_ RODNEY PAGE

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