Mulder is 11-6 with a 3.10 ERA and can tie Toronto’s Roy Halladay for the AL lead in wins with a victory. The left-hander is 5-0 with a 2.38 in five career starts against Tampa Bay.
Mulder is 1-2 in his last three starts despite a 2.35 ERA. The All-Star lost 1-0 to Anaheim on Friday despite giving up only three hits in his major league-leading sixth complete game. He struck out five and walked none.
“Mark has been lights out and it’s sad we couldn’t score any runs for him,” said Scott Hatteberg.
Mulder lost for the first time in eight decisions at home. He’s 7-1 with a 1.90 ERA in nine starts at Network Associates Coliseum.
David McCarty doubled twice and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning of his Oakland debut, leading the Athletics to a 6-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
McCarty, starting in place of Hatteberg at first base, was called up Tuesday from Triple-A Sacramento when outfielder Jermaine Dye went on the 15-day disabled list with a separated right shoulder.
“It’s nice to contribute,” said McCarty, who lives in nearby Piedmont and attended Stanford. “It’s been a dream of mine since I came to the Bay area in college to play for the A’s.”
The A’s improved to 4-5 on their season-high 13-game homestand.
The Devil Rays had won four of five, but their bullpen blew a 3-1 lead Wednesday, a day after an impressive win against reigning AL Cy Young winner Barry Zito in which Tampa Bay matched a season high with 19 hits.
Tampa Bay has never won a series in Oakland and has beaten the A’s in only one series ever—July 24-27, 1998, when the Devil Rays swept a four-game set at Tropicana Field.
STANDINGS: Devil Rays - 5th place, 23 1/2 GB, AL East. Athletics - 2nd place, 6 1/2 GB, AL West.
DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Jorge Sosa (2-6, 4.56 ERA). The 26-year-old Sosa is coming off his best start of the season. Sosa pitched 5 1-3 shutout innings, allowing six hits and striking out five to lead Tampa Bay to a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.79 ERA in three road starts.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Mulder (11-6, 3.10 ERA). Mulder is 3-4 with a 4.44 ERA over his last seven starts. Lefties are hitting just .213 against him.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli, .309 avg.; Aubrey Huff, 16 HRs, 49 RBIs and 47 runs; Carl Crawford, 21 SBs. Athletics - Eric Byrnes, .308 avg., 51 runs and 7 SBs.; Eric Chavez, 17 HRs; Miguel Tejada, 55 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Devil Rays - RHP Carlos Reyes was demoted to Triple-A Durham to make room on the roster for LHP Joe Kennedy. … OF Ben Grieve is 3-for-14 with five strikeouts lifetime against Mulder. … All-Star RHP Lance Carter has allowed nine earned runs in his last 6 2-3 innings of relief. Athletics - OF Byrnes is batting .120 (3-for-25) lifetime against Tampa Bay with no extra base hits. … RHP Keith Foulke is third in the AL with 23 saves. … OF Adam Piatt is 13-for-40 (.325) with five walks and eight RBIs over his last 19 games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devil Rays - 12-29 on the road; Athletics - 32-16 at home.