ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Dallas Braden gave Oakland another strong outing by a starting pitcher and Jack Hannahan helped it result in a win.
Braden allowed one run over five innings and Hannahan hit a three-run homer as the Athletics ended a six-game losing streak with an 8-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
• The AL East-leading Rays have now lost 9 of 12 games overall.
• Tampa Bay has scored just 30 runs in those 12 games after scoring 42 runs in its seven-game win streak.
• Dallas Braden won in his first start of the season to help Oakland end a six-game losing streak.
-- ESPN.com research
"Everybody had a pretty good outlook today," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "We're trying to keep everybody positive. We had a little meeting about that and how to lead by example. We talked about it for about a half hour. The mood, I think, was positive."Braden (2-0) allowed four hits, walked four and struck out one. Braden was making his first start of the season, replacing Joe Blanton, who was traded to Philadelphia last Thursday, in the rotation. The left-hander made 14 starts last year, but threw less than five innings in each of his final five starts."I just tried to battle and hang in there," Braden said.Oakland's starting pitchers' have the major's best ERA at 3.48 ERA,Hannahan put the Athletics ahead 3-1 in the fourth with his homer off Andy Sonnanstine (10-5). Hannahan is 3-for-8 with two homers against the Rays' right-hander.Kurt Suzuki had an RBI double and Hannahan added a run-scoring single during a four-run eighth that made it 7-1. Hannahan's four RBIs is a career-high."It felt good putting up some runs on the board," Hannahan said.The Athletics had scored a total of nine runs during the six-game skid.Sonnanstine gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings. He has allowed four homers in 12 1/3 innings over his last two starts."You can't win them all," Sonnanstine said. "They had some good at-bats."The Rays, who are in first place in the AL East, dropped to 39-16 at home this season. Tampa Bay has lost nine of 12 overall.Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the third on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Carlos Pena. The Rays (58-41) are just 16-15 when the opposition starts a left-hander."The solution is that we just have to hit better against them," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Just have to stay with it, hang with it and we're going to get better at it."The Rays went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Over the last 12 games, they are 11-for-89 in those situations.Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler didn't allow a run in the seventh and eighth to extend his career-starting scoreless streak to 23 2/3 innings, surpassing the AL record of 22 innings set by Boston's Boo Ferris in 1945, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Since 1900, George McQuillan of the Philadelphia Phillies holds the major league record of 25 innings, which he set in 1907."It's exciting," Ziegler said. "To be at the top of a league record so early in my career, it's pretty crazy."
Maddon and Tampa Bay executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman met for around 40 minutes after the game. Among the topics was looking for outside help with non-waiver trade deadline nearing. "We talk about stuff all the time, and we talked about that," Maddon said. "We talked about about a whole bunch of things. We're always trying to make it better." ... Oakland 2B Mark Ellis was scratched from the starting lineup because of a sore right shoulder. He is day to day. ... Rays SS Jason Bartlett (sprained right knee) could be activated from the DL as soon as Thursday. ... Oakland 1B Daric Barton (strained neck) might start a minor league rehab assignment Thursday. ... Oakland DH Frank Thomas (right quadriceps) took on-the-field batting practice for the second straight day. He is slated to start a running program on Friday. ... Tampa Bay RHP Gary Glover (strained left calf) threw in a simulated game. ... Athletics RHP Joey Devine (right elbow) has minor neck stiffness and had his scheduled simulated game set for Wednesday pushed back a day or two.