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Kazmir K's career-high 13; Rays' bats stay hot vs. A's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Scott Kazmir was just trying to stay in the game. The strikeouts just came naturally.

Kazmir fanned a franchise-record 13 and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays routed Oakland Athletics 14-3 Saturday night.

"I really just want to be in the game as deep as I can," said Kazmir, who set the record by striking out Shannon Stewart to end the eighth inning. "I only knew I had (the record) once I looked at the scoreboard to look for my pitch count. And I saw it and it felt good."

Akinori Iwamura, Carlos Pena and Brendan Harris each had three of the Devil Rays' season-high 20 hits. Tampa Bay's 14 runs tied a season high.

Kazmir (10-8) struck out the side in the first on 12 pitches and recorded his first six outs on strikeouts. He retired 16 straight from the second to the seventh inning and pitched eight-plus innings, allowing three runs, five hits and no walks.

"He's obviously a good pitcher and then he had a good night, too," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "His ball just seemed to be jumping at the hitters. His fastball was very alive, and it was just one of those nights."

Kazmir's 13 K's were a career high, one more than the previous team mark shared by teammates James Shields and Dan Wheeler, now a reliever. Wheeler was a starter in 1999 for Tampa Bay.

Kazmir also holds the club record for strikeouts in a career and season.

"That was a great performance," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "My goodness, from the first pitch he was pretty much on his game. I think he's pretty much pitched like this since the All-Star Break."

Oakland designated hitter Mike Piazza was impressed as well.

"He just came out throwing strikes," said Piazza, who struck out twice. "He was getting strike one and expanding the zone and bringing 95 mph -- tough to catch up to."

The Devil Rays have won two in a row over the A's by a combined score of 26-5.

Oakland's Joe Blanton (11-9), who was 3-0 in his last four starts, pitched five innings, struck out five and gave up five runs and seven hits.

"They've looked locked in the past couple of days," Blanton said. "They've got confidence over there right now and they're running with it."

The A's are 13-15 when Blanton starts and fell a game below .500 (65-66) just two days after going above .500 for the first time since July 7.

Jonny Gomes hit a two-run homer to put the Devil Rays up 2-0 in the second inning and Pena added a run-scoring double in the third to reach 83 RBI for the season, a new career high for him.

Harris' two-run double in Tampa Bay's three-run seventh made it 9-0.

"Our bullpen had a tough time tonight," Geren said. "We couldn't stay away from the big inning."

It was the first time the Devil Rays scored 10 runs in consecutive games since July 21-22, 2006.

Oakland scored twice in the eighth on a double by J.J. Furmaniak and a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki, and once in the ninth on a home run by Jack Hannahan.

Notes

  • Kazmir moved past Vida Blue and Oliver Perez for seventh in career strikeouts by a left-hander before the age of 24. Kazmir has 567.
  • Oakland 2B Mark Ellis extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
  • Oakland SS Marco Scutaro left the game in the fourth inning with dizziness he has been experiencing since Thursday when he was a gametime scratch.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Scott Kazmir records his first six outs on strikeouts and retires 16 consecutive batters at one point.  (AP)
Scott Kazmir records his first six outs on strikeouts and retires 16 consecutive batters at one point. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

S. Kazmir
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 3
BB 0
K 13
Tampa Bay

B. Harris
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF4000031 .290
    Dee Brown, LF0000000 .000
Marco Scutaro, SS2000020 .258
    Jack Hannahan, 3B2111010 .270
Nick Swisher, CF4010020 .261
Jack Cust, RF4000011 .270
Mike Piazza, DH4110021 .277
Mark Ellis, 2B4020001 .263
Dan Johnson, 1B3100013 .232
J.J. Furmaniak, 3B-SS3011010 .167
Kurt Suzuki, C2001010 .242
Totals32363014  
Batting
2B - Mike Piazza (13, Kazmir), Mark Ellis (26, Kazmir), J.J. Furmaniak (1, Kazmir)
HR - Jack Hannahan (2, Kazmir)
SF - Kurt Suzuki (4)
RBI - Jack Hannahan (6), J.J. Furmaniak (1), Kurt Suzuki (20)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Nick Swisher (4, Missed catch of throw)
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton (L,11-9) 5744151 3.92
Andrew Brown 1322010 3.46
Santiago Casilla 1433020 4.54
Jay Marshall 0.1455100 6.81
Kiko Calero 0.2200010 5.75
HBP - Harris (by Joe Blanton)
WP - Jay Marshall (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 102-67, Andrew Brown 24-16, Santiago Casilla 21-14, Jay Marshall 23-14, Kiko Calero 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 4-5
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 23, Andrew Brown 6, Santiago Casilla 7, Jay Marshall 6, Kiko Calero 4
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B6230023 .288
Carl Crawford, LF4211012 .313
Carlos Pena, 1B4231100 .270
B.J. Upton, CF4222111 .307
Delmon Young, RF5221012 .288
Brendan Harris, 2B4232003 .291
Jonny Gomes, DH5223023 .260
Josh Wilson, SS5021003 .238
Josh Paul, C5022023 .209
Totals4214201329  
Batting
2B - Carlos Pena 2 (27, Blanton, Casilla), Delmon Young (32, Casilla), Brendan Harris 2 (29, A. Brown, Casilla), Josh Wilson (9, Calero), Josh Paul (2, A. Brown)
3B - Akinori Iwamura (7, Blanton), Jonny Gomes (2, A. Brown)
HR - Jonny Gomes (14, Blanton)
SF - Carl Crawford (2)
RBI - Carl Crawford (67), Carlos Pena (83), B.J. Upton 2 (62), Delmon Young (66), Brendan Harris 2 (49), Jonny Gomes 3 (38), Josh Wilson (17), Josh Paul 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Jonny Gomes 2 (18), Josh Wilson (14), Josh Paul (5)
SB - Brendan Harris (4, 2nd base off Blanton/Suzuki)
PK - Delmon Young (1, Blanton)
Team LOB - 8
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Scott Kazmir (W,10-8) 85330131 3.64
Scott Dohmann 1100010 2.04
HBP - Johnson (by Scott Kazmir)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 105-75, Scott Dohmann 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 3-8, Scott Dohmann 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 30, Scott Dohmann 4
Game Information
Attendance - 18163
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Bruce Froemming, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Mike Winters