Archive for Monday, August 23, 2004

Rays’ Brazelton stops another streak

Tampa Bay snaps four-game losing skid with 2-1 victory over Oakland

August 23, 2004

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— 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, 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-all 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 RBIs, 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.

Angels 4, Yankees 3

New York -- Bengie Molina went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer, Kelvim Escobar outpitched Kevin Brown, and Anaheim completed a three-game sweep of slumping New York. Gary Sheffield homered and had two RBIs for the Yankees, who scored only four runs the entire series. New York lost for the sixth time in seven games and has been outscored 37-11 in the defeats. Molina tied his career high for hits in his second start since returning from a broken finger, leading the Angels to their fifth straight win and 13th in 17 games.

Mariners 5, Tigers 3

Detroit -- Willie Bloomquist hit his first homer in more than 13 months -- a go-ahead three-run shot in the fifth inning -- to lead Seattle over Detroit. Gil Meche (4-5) allowed three runs and nine hits in 62/3 innings, helping Seattle avoid a three-game sweep.

Blue Jays 8, Orioles 5

Baltimore -- Eric Hinske and Vernon Wells homered, and Toronto completed a three-game sweep of Baltimore. The Blue Jays had lost four straight and 13 of 15 before coming to Baltimore, where they picked up their first road sweep of the season by a combined 32-13 score. Miguel Tejada went 4-for-5 with a homer, three doubles and five RBI for the Orioles, who had won 11 of 13 before being outscored 51-18 during an 0-6 homestand. Tejada boosted his league-leading RBI total to 113.

Twins 7, Indians 3

Minneapolis -- Justin Morneau drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning before leaving when he was hit in the hand by a pitch, and Minnesota completed a three-game sweep of Cleveland. Corey Koskie homered, and Torii Hunter had three hits, including a three-run double, for Minnesota. The first-place Twins, who led Cleveland by only a game last Sunday, took a seven-game lead in the AL Central.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 5

Chicago -- Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz homered on consecutive pitches to start the eighth inning, and streaking Boston beat Chicago for its sixth straight win. Boston, with 12 wins in 15 games, moved within 51/2 games of the New York Yankees in the AL East, the first time the Red Sox have been that close since June 28. They also have a one-game lead in the AL wild-card race.

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