|Oakland (15-15) «||1||0||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||5||8||1|
|Tampa Bay (14-17)||0||1||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||11||0|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Nick Swisher gave the injury-plagued Oakland Athletics a much-needed lift.
Swisher hit a tiebreaking solo homer, Joe Blanton gave up three runs over 7 1/3 innings and the A's beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-3 Sunday.
Swisher chased Edwin Jackson with a one-out homer in the seventh, giving Oakland a 4-3 lead. Swisher had two homers and six RBIs as the A's won two of three in the series against the Devil Rays. It was Swisher's first three starts since straining a left hamstring on April 24.
"It really just shows you how good of a player he is, to sit out that long and come back hot," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "He's an incredible talent."
Swisher, who hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in Friday's 5-2 victory, hit a 1-2 pitch from Jackson an estimated 445 feet to right field.
"I knew he was sitting on a slider, but I wouldn't change that pitch," Jackson said. "I just didn't execute what I wanted to do. It was right there in his power zone."
Swisher has seven hits in his last 15 at-bats. Jackson retired 11 straight before Swisher's homer.
"He battled Swisher, but he came up big for them," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
Blanton (3-1) allowed 11 hits, walked two and struck out six. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.
"It was a real gutsy performance by Joe and real necessary for him to what he did," Geren said.
Oakland had a short bullpen after a 12-inning game Saturday night. The Athletics also have seven players, including Mike Piazza, Mark Kotsay and Rich Harden, on the disabled list.
Jack Cust's first homer since Sept. 22, 2003, extended the lead to 5-3 in the eighth. He is the 15th player to homer in his Oakland debut.
"A home run is always nice, but in that situation, it gave us a little more of a cushion," Cust said.
Adam Melhuse, getting a spot start for catcher Jason Kendall, put Oakland up 3-1 with a two-out, two-run single in the third. Dan Johnson had a first-inning RBI single.
Jackson (0-5) allowed four runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked four.
Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton, who started play as the AL batting leader, tied it at 1 with a homer in the second. It was his sixth of the season and came in his 94th at-bat. He entered 2007 with five career homers in 334 at-bats.
Upton went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and had his batting average drop five points to .371.
The Devil Rays tied it at 3 with a two-run fourth. Brendan Harris, who had the game-winning RBI single in the 12th inning of Tampa Bay's 3-2 win Saturday, had a run-scoring single. The other run scored on Oakland shortstop Bobby Crosby's two-out throwing error to first on Josh Paul's grounder.
The Devil Rays optioned RHP Ruddy Lugo to Triple-A Durham after the game. ... Oakland OFs Shannon Stewart (ankle) and Travis Buck (wrist), both battling nagging minor injuries, were out of the starting lineup. Stewart was a defensive replacement in the eighth. ... Upton matched a career-high nine-game hitting streak. ... Athletics OF Milton Bradley (wrist and hamstring) saw a hand specialist, who recommended a couple more days of rest before resuming full-scale batting practice. ... Jackson has given up just two homers in 28 1/3 innings this season.
|Players of the Game|
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|Chris Snelling, CF||4||1||1||0||1||2||0||.233|
|Nick Swisher, DH||5||1||2||1||0||2||1||.298|
|Eric Chavez, 3B||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.236|
|Dan Johnson, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.306|
|Jack Cust, LF||3||2||1||1||1||1||2||.333|
|Shannon Stewart, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.239|
|Bobby Crosby, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.222|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||3||0||1||0||1||0||3||.255|
|Adam Melhuse, C||4||0||1||2||0||1||1||.200|
|Danny Putnam, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.125|
|2B - Eric Chavez (8, Jackson)|
|HR - Nick Swisher (6, Jackson), Jack Cust (1, Glover)|
|RBI - Nick Swisher (15), Dan Johnson (6), Jack Cust (1), Adam Melhuse 2 (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adam Melhuse 2 (2)|
|SB - Mark Ellis (2, 2nd base off Glover/Paul)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Blanton-Ellis-Johnson, Melhuse-Ellis, Blanton-Crosby-Johnson|
|E - Bobby Crosby (6, Throwing)|
|Joe Blanton (W,3-1)||7.1||11||3||2||2||6||1||3.61|
|Alan Embree (H,7)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.86|
|Huston Street (S,9)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.65|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 113-76, Alan Embree 7-6, Huston Street 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 7-7, Huston Street 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 33, Alan Embree 2, Huston Street 3|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Rocco Baldelli, CF||5||0||0||0||0||0||2||.241|
|Elijah Dukes, LF||5||0||1||0||0||2||0||.233|
|Carl Crawford, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.276|
|Ty Wigginton, 3B||3||0||2||0||1||0||1||.260|
|B.J. Upton, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||2||2||.371|
|Delmon Young, RF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.248|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||3||1||2||0||1||0||1||.215|
|Brendan Harris, SS||4||0||2||1||0||2||3||.333|
|Josh Paul, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.231|
|HR - B.J. Upton (6, Blanton)|
|RBI - B.J. Upton (22), Brendan Harris (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brendan Harris (5)|
|CS - Ty Wigginton (4, 2nd base by Blanton/Melhuse)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|PB - Josh Paul (2)|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Edwin Jackson (L,0-5)||6.1||6||4||4||4||6||1||6.99|
|Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 116-70, Gary Glover 30-17, Ruddy Lugo 17-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 7-6, Gary Glover 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 29, Gary Glover 7, Ruddy Lugo 3|
|Attendance - 16880|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Jerry Layne|