Devil Rays Beat Up on Athletics

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Scott Kazmir struck out a franchise-record 13 batters and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays routed Oakland Athletics 14-3 on Saturday night.

Kazmir's 13 strikeouts were a career high, one more than the previous team mark shared by teammates James Shields and Dan Wheeler, now a reliever. Wheeler was a starter in 1999 for Tampa Bay.

The Devil Rays have won two in a row over Oakland, by a combined score of 26-5.

Akinori Iwamura, Carlos Pena and Brendan Harris each had three of the Devil Rays' season high 20 hits. Tampa Bays' 14 runs tied a season high.

Kazmir (10-8) struck out the side in the first on 12 pitches and recorded his first six outs on strikeouts. He retired 16 straight batters from the second to the seventh inning.

Joe Blanton (11-9), who was 3-0 in his last four starts, pitched five innings, struck out five and gave up five runs and seven hits.

The Athletics are 13-15 when Blanton starts.

With the loss Saturday, Oakland fell to 11 games back in the AL wild card race. They fell a game below .500 (64-65), just two days after going above .500 for the first time since July 7.

Jonny Gomes hit a two-run homer put the Devil Rays up 2-0 in the second inning. Pena hit an RBI double in the third to score Carl Crawford from first to make it 3-0. The run gave Pena 83 RBIs for the season, a new career high for him.

Iwamura hit a leadoff triple in the fifth, and Crawford brought him home with a sacrifice fly, making the score 4-0.

Gomes also hit a RBI triple in the sixth. Catcher Josh Paul drove in Gomes with a run-scoring double.

Pena hit a leadoff double in the seventh and scored on an error by Oakland center fielder Nick Swisher off a single by B.J. Upton. Harris hit a two RBI-double to make it 9-0.

Upton scored two more with a single in the eighth, Delmon Young hit an RBI single and Josh Wilson added an RBI single to make it 13-2. Paul added another run with a single to make it 14-2.

It was the first time the Devil Rays scored 10 runs in consecutive games since July 21-22, 2006.

Oakland scored twice in the eighth on a double by J.J. Furmaniak and a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki, and once in the ninth, on a home run by Jack Hannahan.

Game notes
Kazmir moved him past Vida Blue and Oliver Perez for seventh in career strikeouts by a left-hander before the age of 24. Kazmir has 566. ... Young has gone 58 games without a home run. ... 2B Mark Ellis extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... SS Marco Scutaro left the game in the fourth inning. No details were immediate available. Scutaro sat out Thursday's game with a non-baseball condition.


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