OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- While Network Associates Coliseum has been a safe haven for the
this season, it has been nothing but a house of horrors for the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
tossed 6 2/3 effective innings and
had two hits and two RBI as the Athletics improved their American League-best home record with their season-high eighth straight victory, a 4-2 triumph over the
Trailing just San Francisco for the best home mark in baseball at 48-21, the Athletics bettered the record behind a strong performance from Lilly (8-9). The lefthander allowed a run and three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts to improve to 3-0 lifetime vs. Tampa Bay.
"If there's any point in the season where I'd like to be throwing the ball well, it'd be right now," Lilly said. "I think it's kind of contagious. Everybody's feeling good right now, so it's something that we've been able to feed off of each other."
"He's kind of gone good start, bad start this year," Oakland manager
said. "This is two in a row that have been pretty good. His recent success is encouraging at this point in the year. ... He had good command ad used his changeup well. He hasn't had this many innings before and we want to get him an extra day (off) if we can."
Lilly started and ended strong, retiring the first eight batters of the game and getting nine straight from the fourth through the seventh before allowing consecutive hits prior to being lifted.
"We know Lilly can pitch," Athletics left fielder
said. "He's been pitching well and just hopefully he can continue to keep us in games. That's all we want him to do."
"I've noticed he has good command," first baseman
added. "His stuff looks live for this late in the season. That's pretty impressive, so I see him just with a lot of confidence."
walked a batter before getting three straight outs for his 37th save.
Chavez continued his hot hitting in August with two doubles, the first of which gave Oakland a 2-0 lead in the third. Chavez is hitting .333 (37-for-111) this month, raising his lifetime August average to .313 (152-for-485).
Hatteberg added a home run for Oakland, which has won seven straight at home.
"I just know we're playing really good right now," Hatteberg said. "I think this is the way we expected ourselves to play. And we're just doing it at the right time."
(3-3) was dealt his first loss in seven career starts vs. the Athletics, allowing three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. The righthander, who had not lost since June 25, walked one and struck out one.
"I would have felt better if I left with two runs (of support) in the seventh," Bell said. "I've turned the corner and I have to execute the things I've done in previous starts again."
"He pitched outstanding," Tampa Bay third baseman
said. "He's been battling. He battled tonight, we just couldn't put up enough runs to get him the win."
homered for the
, who must win 10 of their final 28 games to avoid a third straight 100-loss season.
Tampa Bay has lost 12 of its last 13 contests at Network Associates Coliseum and fell to 6-23 all-time there.
After being stranded at third in the second inning, Chavez gave Oakland the lead in the third.
and Hatteberg hit one-out singles before
flied out. Chavez followed with a double to left-center field, scoring both runners for a 2-0 advantage.
Tampa Bay halved the deficit in the seventh, when former Athletic
doubled with two outs and scored on
"I didn't see it at all," said Long, who lost sight of Piatt's hit. "It happens, nothing I can do about it. I felt bad for a minute, but I've just gotta be ready to make the next play."
regained Oakland's two-run cushion with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning, but Anderson led off the eighth with his third career homer as a pinch hitter and first since May 18, 2001 against St. Louis.
"I don't talk a whole lot about home runs, I mean, they just come," Anderson said. "It was one of those things, I felt like I had a pretty good at-bat. Took some close pitches and (Oakland sidearmer
's) coming from an awkward position. ... I was just fortunate to get the good part of the bat on the ball."
Hatteberg capped the scoring in the bottom half with his 11th homer.