Devil Rays jump out early, hold off late D-Backs rally

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Mark Hendrickson had to dig deep to snap a personal four-game losing streak.

Hendrickson threw seven solid innings and Jonny Gomes hit a
two-run double to help the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 on Tuesday night.

Hendrickson (4-7) allowed four runs and nine hits to win for the first time since May 18.

"That was a struggle," he said. "I just didn't find too much rhythm. It's tough to say that with the result, it was a pretty successful outing. It was a tough outing tonight, but I was proud of myself for giving my team a chance."

Arizona manager Bob Melvin held a postgame meeting after the Diamondbacks lost for the 13th time in 15 games.

"We just didn't have great focus early on," Melvin said. "It was better later on, but 27 outs are what we have to play. That's what we've talked about from spring training on, and we haven't seen that as of late."

Chad Tracy drove in two runs and Eric Byrnes hit a solo homer for Arizona, which has dropped eight consecutive road games against American League teams.

Arizona starter Miguel Batista (6-5) gave up six runs and 11 hits in five innings. He has lost three straight starts, allowing 17 runs and 29 hits over 15 1/3 innings.

"We weren't ready to play, that's for sure," Batista said. "That's not the way the game should be played. When things get out of hand or there's a lack of effort, he's [Melvin] going to be there to tell us. He's doing his job."

The Devil Rays scored four runs in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead. Gomes' hit was followed by a sacrifice fly from Toby Hall and Julio Lugo's RBI single.

Rocco Baldelli's solo homer made it 6-0 in the fourth. The Devil Rays have 12 homers in seven interleague games this season.

"It breeds confidence when a couple guys get it going," Baldelli said.

The Devil Rays improved to 6-1 in interleague play this season. Tampa Bay lost 15 of 18 against the NL last year.

Luis Gonzalez drove in a run with an infield single and Tracy had a two-run single to get the Diamondbacks within 6-3 in the fifth. Orlando Hudson cut the deficit to two with a sacrifice fly one inning later.

"It's been a rough stretch for us," Gonzalez said. "Everybody's trying to do a little too much. We've just got to get back to playing the way we did in spring training. Just having fun out there and playing."

Jorge Cantu went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Aubrey Huff tied a
career high with four hits for Tampa Bay. Cantu had an RBI single and Huff doubled in a run in the eighth.

The Devil Rays had 16 hits. They have reached double figures in hits in four consecutive games and eight of the past 11.

Game notes
The Devil Rays obtained left-hander J.P. Howell from Kansas City for outfielder Joey Gathright and infielder Fernando Cortez. Howell will join the rotation at Triple-A Durham. ... Tampa Bay reliever Ruddy Lugo
pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings before leaving in the ninth with a mid-back strain. ... Tampa Bay optioned right-hander Seth McClung to Durham, a move designed to turn the right-hander from a starter into a closer. Right-hander Tim Corcoran will replace McClung in the rotation. ... Gonzalez hasn't homered in his last 191 at-bats dating to April 20. ... Melvin said right-hander Edgar Gonzalez will be called up from Triple-A Tucson to start Thursday's game. ... The Devil Rays recalled right-hander Edwin Jackson from Durham after the game. He will work out of the bullpen.