Tampa Bay (19-32) at Oakland (17-32)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 9:05 pm EDT Mon May 30, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays hope a three-game series with the woeful Oakland Athletics at McAfee Coliseum will help turn their road struggles around.

The Devil Rays, who open a 12-game road trip, are just 3-18 on the road and have lost eight of their last 10 games away from home, with seven of those losses by one or two runs.

Tampa Bay opened up a six-game homestand with a three-game sweep of the hapless Athletics, highlighted by a 14-6 pounding on Wednesday.

The Devil Rays set a team record for runs scored in the first inning and was one shy of the club mark for any frame, set in the eighth inning of a 14-4 win over Seattle on May 28, 2000.

Joe Blanton starts Monday for the A’s after yielding eight runs and six hits in 1-3 of an inning on Wednesday. The 24-year-old right-hander, who made three relief appearances last season, fell to 0-5 this year and is still searching for his first major league win.

“I have a hard time evaluating what he had, he wasn’t out there long enough,” said A’s manager Ken Macha. “He said coming out of the bullpen that he felt good. Most of the balls were smoked.”

Oakland matched a season high with its eighth straight loss, 6-2 to Cleveland on Sunday.

The A’s, who have dropped 20 of their last 24 games, tied the 1979 team for the second-worst mark after 49 games since the club moved to Oakland in 1968. The 1994 Athletics started 13-36.

Oakland, which has not lost nine in a row since July 21-29, 1998, is last in the AL in runs (186), homers (27) and batting average (.241).

The Devil Rays lost their second straight on Sunday, 10-9 to the Mariners. Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella, who watched the Devil Rays overcome a three-run deficit only to blow a four-run lead, didn’t speak with reporters after the game.

Jorge Cantu homered and had three RBIs, while six other players drove in runs.

“It’s good to hit the ball that way, but the bottom line is we lost the game,” said Cantu, who went 3-for-5 for his first three-hit game since April 10.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Kazmir Hou vs. J. Blanton Pit
10-9 Record 12-12
3.77 ERA 3.53
174 K 116
100 BB 67
1.46 WHIP 1.22