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Oakland at Tampa Bay

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Oakland «2040020008131
Tampa Bay1022001006130

Athletics 8, Devil Rays 6

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Oakland Athletics wasted no time putting closer Huston Street back into a key situation.

Street, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, pitched the ninth to pick up his 30th save in the AL West-leading Athletics' 8-6 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Friday night.

"It was an experience for sure, just getting back out there and getting competitive," Street said. "It felt good just to get those juices flowing. "

Street struck out Ty Wigginton with the tying run on first base. He had been out since Aug. 19 with a strained left groin.

"For having not been out there for 20 days, I thought he was real good," Oakland manager Ken Macha said.

Nick Swisher hit a grand slam and Frank Thomas also homered for Oakland, which started the day 5½ games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels. Los Angeles was home against Toronto on Friday night.

"It really wasn't a pretty win, but all our wins right now are huge," Macha said.

Swisher made it 6-1 with his third inning shot off James Shields (6-7). It was Swisher's 30th homer of the season, making him the 23rd switch hitter in major league history to reach that plateau.

"Half the battle for me is putting the ball in play," said Swisher, who has struck out 131 times in 486 at-bats this season.

Thomas' 33rd homer to left came on a fastball from reliever Tim Corcoran and went an estimated 432 feet. It appeared, however, the homer actually went farther.

"Wrong pitch," Corcoran said. "He's comfortable up there. Being comfortable, that's the kind of swings they take."

Oakland starter Dan Haren said Thomas' shot "sounded like an explosion off his bat."

"I thought it was going to hit the roof, to be honest with you," he said.

Thomas drove in three runs. He has 41 RBI in his last 41 games.

Haren (13-11) gave up six runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings. He had lost his previous two starts.

It wasn't pretty," Haren said. "I thought I battled. I hung in there for the most part. I made a few bad pitches and my fastball was a little erratic, but my breaking stuff was good. I got quite a few ground balls, which I haven't been getting, which was a good sign I thought."

Tampa Bay got solo homers from Jorge Cantu and Rocco Baldelli.

Shields allowed six runs, seven hits, four walks and had two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

"My location wasn't there tonight," Shields said. "I made bad pitches in certain counts. I walked four guys. It was one of those days. It wasn't my day. It wasn't the teams' day."

The Devil Rays have the major league's worst record since the All-Star break at 17-35. Oakland has the best mark over the same stretch with a 36-16 record.

Thomas hit an RBI single and Jay Payton had a run-scoring grounder in the first to put the A's ahead 2-0. Thomas moved past Willie McCovey (1,555) into 35th place all-time with 1,557 RBI.

Carl Crawford drove in a run with a single and Greg Norton hit an RBI double in a two-run third before Cantu homered and Ben Zobrist added a sacrifice fly one inning later to get the Devil Rays within 6-5.

Thomas extended the lead to 8-5 in the sixth inning with his 481st homer.

"That was the hit of the night," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It didn't totally break the back, but kind of fractured it a bit. Frank is very, very toasty right now."

Baldelli ended Haren's night with a homer leading off the seventh that made it 8-6.

Notes

Oakland OF Mark Kotsay missed the game with back spasms. He is day to day. ... Swisher has hit 25 of his homers this season off right-handers. ... Baldelli has multi-hit performances in 10 of his last 16 games.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Oakland

N. Swisher
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 4
Tampa Bay

R. Baldelli
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C4100102 .296
Mark Ellis, 2B5120000 .243
Milton Bradley, RF4110122 .265
Frank Thomas, DH4233101 .275
Eric Chavez, 3B3110211 .241
Jay Payton, CF5121003 .301
Nick Swisher, LF4144100 .253
Dan Johnson, 1B5000017 .240
Marco Scutaro, SS4000101 .246
Totals3881387417 
Batting
2B - Mark Ellis (18, Meadows)
HR - Frank Thomas (33, Corcoran), Nick Swisher (30, Shields)
RBI - Frank Thomas 3 (92), Jay Payton (53), Nick Swisher 4 (84)
2-OUT RBI - Frank Thomas 2 (46)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
PB - Jason Kendall (6)
E - Dan Haren (1, )
Oakland Athletics
Dan Haren (W,13-11) 61064022 3.95
Joe Kennedy (H,9) 1100000 1.11
Justin Duchscherer (H,11) 1100000 3.19
Huston Street (S,30) 1100110 3.17
WP - Dan Haren (10)
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 90-62, Joe Kennedy 15-10, Justin Duchscherer 16-11, Huston Street 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 13-3, Justin Duchscherer 1-2
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 28, Joe Kennedy 4, Justin Duchscherer 4, Huston Street 5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rocco Baldelli, CF5231010 .305
Delmon Young, RF4110102 .385
Carl Crawford, LF5121001 .303
Greg Norton, DH5031001 .309
    Damon Hollins, PR-DH0000000 .222
Ty Wigginton, 1B5000015 .262
Dioner Navarro, C4000000 .263
Jorge Cantu, 2B4121010 .242
B.J. Upton, 3B4120001 .243
Ben Zobrist, SS3001002 .226
Totals3961351312 
Batting
2B - Rocco Baldelli (20, Haren), Greg Norton (11, Haren)
HR - Rocco Baldelli (9, Haren), Jorge Cantu (12, Haren)
SF - Ben Zobrist (3)
RBI - Rocco Baldelli (41), Carl Crawford (68), Greg Norton (33), Jorge Cantu (57), Ben Zobrist (12)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (39), Greg Norton (13)
SB - Delmon Young (1, 2nd base off Street/Kendall)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Zobrist-Wigginton, Zobrist-Wigginton
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
James Shields (L,6-7) 3.2766421 4.71
Tim Corcoran 2.1222211 3.96
Jon Switzer 0.2100100 5.13
Shawn Camp 0.1000000 4.12
Brian Meadows 1100010 5.31
Ruddy Lugo 1200000 3.98
WP - James Shields (9)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 88-46, Tim Corcoran 40-20, Jon Switzer 19-10, Shawn Camp 3-2, Brian Meadows 19-11, Ruddy Lugo 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 5-4, Tim Corcoran 4-1, Jon Switzer 1-1, Brian Meadows 1-1, Ruddy Lugo 1-1
Batters Faced - James Shields 22, Tim Corcoran 10, Jon Switzer 4, Shawn Camp 1, Brian Meadows 4, Ruddy Lugo 4
Game Information
Attendance - 12821
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Lance Barksdale