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Rays break four-game skid

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Dewon Brazelton has become a streak
stopper.

The right-hander pitched seven strong innings, and Jose Cruz Jr.
hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth to lift the Tampa Bay Devil
Rays over the Oakland Athletics 2-1 on Sunday.

Brazelton (6-4) gave up one run and five hits to improve to 6-1
at home this season.

"I'm just trying to throw strikes and give my team a chance to
win," Brazelton said.

Cruz's solo shot broke a 1-1 tie and helped the Devil Rays snap
a four-game losing streak and win for just the second time in 12
games.

Brazelton also snapped Tampa Bay's six-game losing streak in an
8-3 win over Anaheim on Tuesday.

"That's exactly what he pitched like ... pitched like a
stopper," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "Two really nice
ballgames. There's a kid that last year was pitching in the
California League at this time."

Brazelton went 1-6 with Tampa Bay in 10 starts last season
before being sent to Class-A Bakersfield to work on mechanics.

Jesus Colome pitched the final two innings for his third save.

Erubiel Durazo homered for Oakland, which has hit 15 home runs
in five games. The Athletics went 5-1 on a six-game road trip.

"It was a great trip," Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "I'll
take 5-1 anytime."

Mark Redman (9-10) allowed two runs and six hits in seven
innings for the AL-West leading Athletics, who hold a one-half game
lead over Texas and Anaheim.

"We can't sit there and watch the scoreboard," Redman said.
"We have to take care of our own business, and that's winning
ballgames."

Devil Rays All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder
Aubrey Huff were out of the starting lineup because of injuries.
Both are day to day.

Crawford, the major league stolen base leader, bruised his right
shoulder on two diving catch attempts Saturday. He took one round
of batting practice Sunday before leaving the field to undergo
treatment, but came in to play center field in the ninth inning.

Huff, who leads the Devil Rays with 22 homers and 80 RBI, left
Saturday after one inning with back spasms. He had played in 398
consecutive games, which was the second longest active streak in
the majors behind Baltimore's Miguel Tejada (716).

Cruz hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to put the Devil
Rays ahead 1-0 in the first.

Tampa Bay lost a run in the third on poor base running.

Jorge Cantu hit a two-out single with runners on first and
second. Tino Martinez, the runner on second, appeared to slow up
and didn't cross the plate before center fielder Mark Kotsay threw
out Cruz, who was attempting to go from first to third.

Home plate umpire Kevin Kelley immediately ruled that Martinez
didn't score before the third out was made.

Durazo tied it at 1 with a solo homer in the fourth. He has four
homers and 12 RBI in six games against Tampa Bay this season.

Durazo was drilled in the back by Brazelton's pitch leading off
the seventh. He took one step toward the mound before heading to
first while being shadowed by Kelley and Tampa Bay catcher Brook
Fordyce.

"I didn't mean to hit the guy," Brazelton said. "He hit a
home run last time. Great. That's fine. But the next time he gets
up, I've got to go inside on him because he's leaning out over the
plate. With the first pitch of the inning, I don't want to make a
mistake over the plate."

Oakland outfielder Eric Byrnes thought it was intentional.

"Absolutely," Byrnes said. "I think you can generally look at
a pitcher's reaction and see whether it's intentional or not. It's
too bad."

No warning was issued by the umpires.

"We're looking forward to playing these guys again ... that's
for sure," Byrnes said.

Game notes
Oakland OF Jermaine Dye (sore left thumb) sat out his third
straight game. He might play Monday. ... Devil Rays closer Danys
Baez missed the game to tend to a personal matter. He will join the
team Monday in Seattle. ... Tampa Bay will call up LHP Scott Kazmir
from Double-A Montgomery to start Monday against the Mariners.