Duchscherer pitched five scoreless innings of relief and the
Athletics rebounded from a four-run deficit to beat the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays 8-7 Friday night.
Erubiel Durazo hit a two-run homer, and Eric Chavez and Marco
Scutaro also connected as the A's won their fifth straight and 10th
in 11 games. They maintained their one-game lead over Anaheim in
the AL West.
Duchscherer (5-4) allowed four hits with no walks and struck out
three in relief of starter Mark Redman. Oakland's bullpen ran its
scoreless streak to 22 innings before Tampa Bay got an unearned run
against Arthur Rhodes in the eighth.
"All the pitchers feel if we make our pitches enough times
we're going to be effective," Duchscherer said. "You don't want
to come into the ballgame with a negative attitude."
Dotel got four outs for his 15th save in 19 chances with
Oakland. He extended his scoreless streak to 16 innings.
The A's trailed 6-3 entering the fifth. Mark Kotsay and Eric
Byrnes each singled to open the inning. Jermaine Dye's groundout
drove in one run, and Scott Hatteberg singled home another. Durazo
hit the first pitch he saw from Mark Hendrickson (8-13) over the
center-field fence to put the A's on top 7-6.
"When I made good pitches the ball found a hole and when I made
mistakes they really made me pay," Hendrickson said. "This is the
most frustrating period I've experienced in my short baseball
Scutaro homered with one out in the sixth.
Duchscherer won for the first time since July 3, snapping a
personal three-game losing streak.
"He's great, he throws a lot of strikes," Scutaro said. "He's
been huge all year."
Hendrickson dropped his fifth straight start, allowing seven
runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. He has made it through the fifth
inning just once in his last five starts. His August ERA ballooned
"I gave Hendrickson every opportunity to win a ballgame,"
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "He's been struggling and
we've got to get him turned around or he's going to the bullpen. I
have other people who need to pitch here, too."
Redman lasted a season-low two-plus innings, giving up six runs
and nine hits. Redman has struggled at home this season, losing
four of seven decisions with an ERA of 7.04.
"It was like I was sleepwalking," Redman said. "Still, it was
a great win. You can't say enough about Duchscherer and how he shut
Chavez hit his 26th home run, a solo shot with two outs in the
first, to give the A's the early lead.
Blum's three-run shot in the second highlighted a five-run
outburst for the Devil Rays. It was Blum's sixth homer, but his
first since July 22 and just his third from the right side since
Sept. 9, 2002. Huff and Tino Martinez also drove in runs.
Bobby Crosby's second-inning single for Oakland broke an
0-for-16 skid. ... Huff, out of the lineup the previous six days,
had his sixth career four-hit game. ... The Devil Rays have never
won a series in Oakland (0-9-1). ... Piniella turns 61 on Saturday.
... Redman allowed his career-high 25th homer.