Athletics 6, Devil Rays 3

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—If it had been any other team than the Oakland Athletics offering David McCarty a minor league contract, he probably would have sat out this season.

He’s happy he didn’t.

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 the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Wednesday when they relied on a handful of reserves.

McCarty, starting in place of Scott 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. Really once I signed with the A’s and was sent down to Triple-A it was my desire to be here. If I had been with any other team I don’t know if I would have kept going.”

McCarty, who signed a one-year contract in November, pumped his fist in excitement when his flyball to left field scored Erubiel Durazo for a 4-3 A’s lead. The 33-year-old is playing with his sixth big league team—he played 12 games for the Devil Rays last season.

“Who knows, heaven forbid I might have to get a real job,” McCarty said, smiling. He has a degree in economics.

After Eric Chavez followed McCarty with a walk, Adam Piatt hit a two-run double against Jesus Colome (2-5). Piatt, making a rare start in left field, also had an RBI single in the fourth.

“We got some clutch hits today for a change,” manager Ken Macha said.

Ricardo Rincon (5-3) pitched a perfect seventh for the win and Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.

The Devil Rays had won four of five games, but their bullpen blew a 3-1 lead a day after an impressive win against reigning AL Cy Young winner Barry Zito in which they matched their 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.

The three-game series concludes Thursday, then Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella makes his much anticipated return to Seattle to face his former team.

Toby Hall homered and drove in two runs for the Devil Rays, who received five solid innings from Joe Kennedy on the day he came off the disabled list.

Kennedy was activated before the game from the 15-day DL. The lefty started opening day, but had been sidelined with inflammation in his throwing shoulder since leaving his last start May 31 against Anaheim after just one inning.

“My arm didn’t hurt, so that’s good,” he said. “I just want to get back out there. It’s not about success or failure.”

Kennedy, who made two rehab appearances, allowed one run and six hits.

The Devil Rays want Colome to start throwing more breaking balls, because hitters are finding success against his fastball.

“I threw 25 pitches and 25 were fastballs,” he said. “I feel good with the breaking ball but I don’t know what happened today.”

The A’s are 4-5 on their season-long 13-game homestand.

Oakland starter Ted Lilly, who had lost two straight starts coming in, got his sixth no-decision of the season. He was tagged for eight hits and three runs in 5 2-3 innings.

Hall hit the first pitch he saw from Lilly in the sixth just over the left-field fence for his sixth homer of the season to make it 3-1. Hall also had an RBI single in the second.

McCarty doubled and scored in the fourth on Piatt’s RBI single. Terrence Long hit a solo home run in the sixth off Al Levine, Long’s ninth of the year. The A’s tied the game at 3 on Eric Byrnes’ RBI single two batters later.

Rincon’s 5-year-old son, Ricardo Jr., carried a sign into the clubhouse after the game reading “Vote Byrnes,” a campaign to get the outfielder in the All-Star game via Internet balloting. But Byrnes finished third in the voting announced Wednesday.

The Devil Rays pulled off a double steal in the second—their second in two days—and A’s catcher Adam Melhuse made an errant throw to second trying to catch Carl Crawford. The ball was high and sailed into shallow center for anerror that allowed Marlon Anderson to score for a 2-0 lead.


To make room for Kennedy, the Devil Rays designated RHP Carlos Reyes for assignment, sending him to Triple-A Durham. … Kennedy threw 87 pitches, 52 strikes. … Melhuse doubled twice for his first multihit game of the season. … Piatt is 13-for-40 (.325) with five walks and eight RBIs over hislast 19 games.

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