Final

Series: Game 3 of 4

Tampa Bay leads 2-1 (as of 8/25)

Game 1: Thursday, August 23
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Tampa Bay2
Game 2: Friday, August 24
Oakland2Final
Tampa Bay12
Game 3: Saturday, August 25
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Tampa Bay14
Game 4: Sunday, August 26
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Tampa Bay7

Athletics 3

(65-66, 32-34 away)

Devil Rays 14

(50-79, 30-38 home)

    7:10 PM ET, August 25, 2007

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 000000021 3 6 1
    TB 02101235 - 14 20 0

    W: S. Kazmir (10-8)

    L: J. Blanton (11-9)

    Kazmir strikes out 13 as Devil Rays blow out A's

    A CLOSER LOOK

    Scott Kazmir
    Kazmir

    • Summary: Third-year starter Scott Kazmir set a career high and Tampa Bay franchise record with 13 strikeouts, and the Devil Rays laced 20 hits en route to matching a season best with 14 runs in a rout of visiting Oakland.

    • Masterful performance: In the first inning, Kazmir (10-8) struck out the side on 12 pitches and posted the first six outs with K's. He retired 16 straight batters from the second to the seventh inning.

    • Pouring it on: Having beaten Oakland 12-2 Friday, it was the first time Tampa Bay scored 10 runs in consecutive games since July 21-22, 2006.

    • Quotable: "His ball just seemed to be jumping at the hitters. His fastball was very alive, and it was just one of those nights." -- A's manager Bob Geren, on Kazmir

    -- ESPN.com news services

    Devil Rays 14, Athletics 3

    ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- 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 Ks 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 reach 83 RBIs 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.

    Game notes


    Kazmir moved him 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's been experiencing since Thursday when he was a gametime scratch.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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