ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Victor Zambrano and the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays had it all over the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.
Zambrano pitched his first career complete game and the Devil
Rays once again roughed up Barry Zito, beating the Oakland
Athletics 11-2 Sunday.Zambrano (10-8) gave up nine hits, walked none and struck out
eight in his 35th major league start. He became just the fourth
Tampa Bay pitcher ever to win 10 or more games in a season."I'm not really thinking about what team I'm going to face,"
Zambrano said. "I'm only thinking about what I'm going to do that
day and how I feel. Just go in and do my job."Zito (11-12) was tagged for seven runs, six hits and three walks
over 5 1-3 innings."Getting behind guys is frustrating," said Zito, who threw 100
pitches.On July 8, the Devil Rays battered Zito for seven runs and 15
hits in 5 1-3 innings during a 9-3 win at Oakland.Rocco Baldelli drove in three runs as Tampa Bay took two of
three from the AL West-leading Athletics. The Devil Rays also won
two of three from wild-card contender Seattle during their six-game
homestand."First of all, we're trying to win as many games as we can,"
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "Second of all, a little
pride factor involved when you're playing those teams with
postseason aspirations. Go do your work someplace else ... not at
our expense."Oakland has dropped four of five since a 10-game winning streak.
The Athletics did maintain their two-game lead over the second
place Mariners."The bad news is we lost today," Athletics manager Ken Macha
said. "We're going to go home and we're going to have the lead.
It's going to go down to the wire."Zambrano retired nine straight before Billy McMillon opened the
fourth with a single.McMillon later scored to put the Athletics up 1-0 on Eric
Chavez's double. Chavez has nine RBI in his past nine games.Zito retired his first 11 batters before issuing consecutive
walks to Aubrey Huff and Adam Piatt with two outs in the bottom of
the fourth."Those first three innings, it looked like he was going to
throw a perfect game," Macha said. "All of sudden, he started
walking some people. It turned into a mess."Zito has walked 79 this season, the second-highest total in the
AL. Zambrano leads the league with 94 walks."It goes to show you that if good pitchers walk people, they
give up runs, too," Piniella said.Travis Lee followed with an RBI double to tie it at 1.The Devil Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth on a
walk, bunt single and hit batter.With one out, Baldelli drove in two runs with a single that hit
the dirt near the plate and bounced over the head of first baseman
Erubiel Durazo. Huff then added a sacrifice fly to put the Devil
Rays up 4-1."We can't really ask to be playing much better," Baldelli
said. "We're playing confidentially. Things are going our way.
It's nice to see."Tampa Bay went ahead 8-1 with a four-run sixth.Marlon Anderson chased Zito with an RBI double. Steve Sparks
replaced Zito and gave a two-run double to Carl Crawford and an RBI
grounder by Baldelli.Toby Hall hit an RBI double during a three-run seventh as Tampa
Bay took an 11-1 lead.McMillon had a run-scoring in the eighth.
The opening of the gates at Tropicana Field was delayed 20
minutes because of a bomb threat. The gates were opened after
officials checked the stadium. ... Zito was 4-0 with an 0.90 ERA
against Tampa Bay before the two losses this season. ... The Devil
Rays had lost the previous 15 series against the Athletics. ...
Zambrano was 0-3 in his five previous starts. ... Oakland has 19
games remaining -- all against AL West teams. The Athletics are
22-17 in games with their divisional counterparts this season.