• Summary: Carlos Pena had his ninth career multihomer game to pump the Devil Rays past the A's. After dropping the four-game series opener, Tampa Bay closed out the set with three straight victories.
• Hero: Pena extended Tampa Bay's lead to 5-2 with his homer in the sixth, and added a two-run shot in the ninth, his 30th of the season.
• Figure this: The Devil Rays earned their first three-game winning streak since June 9-12.
• Quotable: "It's frustrating losing to a team that we should be able to
beat. I felt very confident going into this game that we would win. It'll be a tough ride home." -- Oakland's Dan Haren
-- ESPN.com news services
Devil Rays 7, Athletics 4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Not even Oakland All-Star Dan Haren
could slow down the suddenly resurgent Tampa Bay offense. Carlos Pena hit two homers, and Joel Guzman had a two-run triple
during a three-run fifth inning as the Devil Rays beat the
Athletics 7-4 on Sunday for their first three-game winning streak
since June 9-12. B.J. Upton also went deep for the Devil Rays, who scored 33 runs
in taking the final three games of the four-game series. "I am very impressed," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
"The mental quality of the at-bat has really been lifted. You can
work physical in all you want. Until the mental end gets lifted,
you never become the type of hitter you should become. I think more
than anything, our mental at-bats have got a lot better." Tampa Bay had scored just 24 runs in 11 games leading up to
Thursday, at which time hitting coach Steve Henderson held a
postgame meeting in a batting cage with the position players. Since
then, the Devil Rays have had 42 hits. Andy Sonnanstine (3-9) won for the second time in his last three
starts. He allowed two runs, five hits, two walks and had seven
strikeouts in five-plus innings. Al Reyes struck out three in the ninth for his 20th save in 22
opportunities. At 37 years, four months, Reyes became the
third-oldest pitcher -- behind Hoyt Wilhelm (41) and Ellis Kinder
(39) -- to record his first 20-save season. Haren (14-5) gave up five runs -- three earned -- and four hits in
six innings. The right-hander struck out a season-high 10, but fell
to 7-3 over his last 14 starts. "It's frustrating losing to a team that we should be able to
beat," Haren said. "I felt very confident going into this game
that we would win. It'll be a tough ride home." Kurt Suzuki homered and had two RBIs for Oakland. "The Devil Rays played better than us," Suzuki said. "There's
nothing more you can say about that." Delmon Young singled to start the fifth and went to second when
Josh Wilson reached base with one out on Jack Hannahan's errant
throw. Guzman drove in two runs with his triple to center, making
it 3-2, and wound up scoring himself when shortstop J.J. Furmaniak
was given an error for a wild relay throw to third. "The way things have happened so quick, it's been pretty
exciting," said Guzman, who had a game-winning RBI single in the
12th inning just hours after being called up from Triple-A Durham
on August 19. Pena extended the Tampa Bay lead to 5-2 with his homer in the
sixth, and added a two-run shot in the ninth, his 30th of the
season. "It's just awesome," Pena said. "I'm grateful to get the
opportunity to play and to be able to do that." It was Pena's ninth career multihomer game and first since Aug.
23, 2005, when he did it with Detroit against Oakland. The Athletics loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but
failed to score when Upton caught Hannahan's liner to center and
then threw out Jack Cust trying to score from third. Suzuki's solo homer and an RBI single by Cust got the Athletics
within 5-4 in the seventh. Consecutive run-scoring doubles by Hannahan and Suzuki put
Oakland ahead 2-0 in the second. Upton cut the Tampa Bay deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the
second on his 20th homer of the season. Upton has six RBIs in the
past three games.
Game Notes Umpire Bruce Froemming was honored before making his final
appearance at Tropicana Field. The crew chief, who joined the major
league staff in 1971, is retiring after this season. ... Oakland SS
Marco Scutaro, who left Saturday's game with an adverse reaction to
the medicine he's taking after experiencing dizziness last week,
was out of the starting lineup. He entered the game as a defensive
replacement in the eighth. ... Athletics DH Mike Piazza was rested.
He struck out as pinch hitter in the eighth. ... Haren has allowed
19 homers this season. ... Upton's 20 homers this year have come in
98 games. He had five homers in 95 games entering 2007. ... Oakland
2B Mark Ellis has a career-high 11-game hitting streak.