OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Even when
is not at peak performance, he still manages to beat Oakland.
hit a pair of home runs, Kazmir allowed two hits over six innings and the
Tampa Bay Rays
beat the Athletics 8-2 on Friday night.
also homered and
recorded a season-high four hits as the Rays won a series opener on the road for the first time this season.
''I didn't think it was his best evening,'' A's manager
said of Kazmir. ''He didn't look as sharp as he has. He threw a lot of pitches for the number of innings but you have to give
him credit because he got the job done.''
Kazmir (3-1) retired the final 11 batters he faced and did not allow a hit after
led off the second with a single. He walked three and struck out two as he improved to 7-2 all-time against the A's, matching
his most wins against any team. His 2.48 ERA against them is the best among active starters behind
Los Angeles Angels
''I was just throwing to my location,'' Kazmir said. ''I was getting early outs and that was getting me further into the game.
After throwing 50 pitches in the first two innings I had to be economical somehow.''
Rays manager Joe Maddon liked the way Kazmir rebounded from a rocky start.
''Kaz righted himself and that's still a big part of his game,'' Maddon said. ''He wasn't really on at the start but the last
few innings he became more consistent with his strike throwing.''
singled home a run in the eighth for Oakland, which lost its fifth straight, all to AL East teams. The A's are off to their
worst start in eight years.
''There's not a lot of great things to talk about,'' Geren said. ''Any time you're missing the zone and walking guys it's
not good. We emphasize throwing strikes and pounding the zone but we just didn't get it done tonight.''
(0-2) lasted 2 2-3 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
''I didn't have my sinker,'' Cahill said. ''It's a pitch I relied on my first three starts but I know it's not there when
I'm giving up a lot of fly balls. It just stays flat.''
doubled home a run in the first and Gross led off the second with his first home run of the season.
The Rays took control with five runs in the third, three on Pena's seventh home run. He took over the AL lead from
with a homer leading off the sixth.
''A win is a win,'' Pena said. ''I just try working hard at keeping things simple.''
also drove in runs in the fifth for the Rays.
''We're so explosive at times,'' Kazmir said. ''We put up a seven-spot in the first few innings and that's huge.''
kept the A's off the board with a perfect seventh, but Hannahan led off the eighth against
with his first home run. After
reached second base on a wild pitch following a strikeout and a balk, Sweeney singled him home.
Notes: Rays RHP
pitched a scoreless inning for Double-A Montgomery in a 4-2 win over Mobile and will likely made his next appearance at Triple-A
Durham. ... A's 1B
sat the game out with a sore hamstring and is expected to play Saturday. ... The Rays have won 5 of their last 7 in Oakland.
They are 15-37 overall, still their worst record in any opposing ballpark. ... Hannahan was recalled before the game as the
A's sent RHP
to Triple-A Sacramento. ... Pena recorded his 14th multihomer game. ... The A's have faced six consecutive left-handed starters.
... A's RHP
has allowed a home run in each of his three appearances.