A's Rally To Beat Rays

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.(AP) Rajai Davis and Adam Kennedy gave a tired Dallas Braden some offensive support.

Davis and Kennedy each hit two-run homers in the seventh inning, and Braden gave up two runs over six innings to help the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 on Saturday night.

Braden (7-7), reinstated from the bereavement list before the game to pitch for the first time since July 1, allowed five hits, two walks and struck out six. The left-hander, who had spent most of the past week with his ailing grandmother, is just 3-2 despite allowing two earned runs or less in each of his last eight starts.

''He looked a little fatigued at the beginning,'' A's manager Bob Geren said. ''He had a long week and he came out and the game was his.''

Braden acknowledged he ''felt bad'' early on.

''We won. That's the most important part,'' Braden said. ''Was I happy with tonight? Not really, but I got through it.''

Braden arrived in Florida around 11 p.m. Friday.

''When you don't sleep for four days and don't eat anything, it'll be brutal,'' Braden said. ''I didn't pick up a ball until two days ago.''

Davis hit his two-run homer off Matt Garza (6-7) before Kennedy added another two-run shot on the only pitch Randy Choate threw to put Oakland ahead 4-2.

Garza allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings as Tampa Bay's nine-game home winning streak ended.

''I made one mistake and paid for it,'' Garza said.

Mark Ellis had a sacrifice fly and Orlando Cabrera drove in two with a double in the eighth that extended the Athletics' advantage to 7-2. Oakland won for just fifth time in 16 games.

Gabe Kapler gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead on an RBI single in the second. Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 with a sixth-inning run-scoring single.

''It just got away from us,'' Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. ''It shouldn't, but it did.''

Davis replaced right fielder Ryan Sweeney in third.

''He popped a ball up and I didn't like the way he ran down the line,'' Geren said of Sweeney. ''Sometimes players take their frustrations out different ways. He didn't run down the line. He's never made that mistake before and I'm sure after today we won't again.''

Oakland loaded the bases with two outs in the first, but failed to score when Garza retired Kurt Suzuki for his third strikeout of the inning. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one.

Athletics first baseman Jason Giambi left in the fifth with a bruised right elbow, and is day to day. He was hit on the elbow by a pitch during the second.

Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro departed in the seventh after he was hit on the side the mask on Jack Cust 's foul tip. He needed assistance to walk off the field.

Navarro was scheduled to undergo tests at a hospital to see if he has a concussion.

''He was woozy and not feeling well,'' Maddon said.

Maddon was ejected in the ninth by plate umpire Jeff Nelson for arguing what was called an error on Michel Hernandez , who had tried to pick a ball up with his mask after stopping a low pitch.

Hernandez was first charged with a catcher's balk, but that ruling was changed by the official scorer to an error after the game.

Maddon, after watching a replay, said Nelson's call that let a baserunner advance one base on the play was correct.

NOTES: Maddon said his post-All-Star game rotation will be: RHP James Shields , LHP Scott Kazmir , Garza, LHP David Price and RHP Jeff Niemann . ... Oakland manager Bob Geren said Nomar Garciaparra will start playing around one game a series at first base. The move will allow Giambi to get additional time off. ... Tampa Bay C Shawn Riggans (right shoulder) could play in a minor league in the next few days. ... To make room on the roster for Braden, RHP Jeff Gray was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.


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