Athletics 17, Devil Rays 3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Jason Giambi hit a grand slam and tied a career-high with seven RBIs as the Oakland Athletics routed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 17-3 Friday night.
Giambi set an Oakland record with his fourth grand slam of the season in the third inning. He added an RBI single in the fourth and a two-run double in the fifth.
The Athletics, who have won nine of 12, tied a major league record with their 12th grand slam this season. Atlanta (1997) and Cleveland (1999) also accomplished the feat.
Oakland stayed a game behind Cleveland for the AL wild card. The Indians beat the New York Yankees 11-1.
Barry Zito (5-3), who had a complete game shutout victory over the Devil Rays last Sunday, allowed two runs and three hits over six innings.
John Flaherty hit a two-run homer for Tampa Bay, which matched a season-high with its sixth straight loss. The Devil Rays, who are a season-low 25 games under .500 at 61-86, are 2-12 in September.
Flaherty’s fourth inning shot ended Zito’s scoreless inning streak at 24 1-3 innings. It was the longest by an Athletics pitcher since Rick Honeycutt had 24 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings in 1995.
The Athletics, who took the final three games from Tampa Bay last weekend in Oakland, have outscored the Devil Rays 43-4 in the past four meetings.
Oakland loaded the bases on three walks by Albie Lopez (11-12) with one out in the third. After Devil Rays pitching coach Bill Fischer went to the mound to talk with Lopez, Giambi drove the first pitch he faced into the right field stands for his 37th homer of the season to put the Athletics up 4-0.
Oakland blew the game open during a five-run fourth. Giambi, who is 7-for-12 with three homers against Lopez, had a run-scoring single. Trevor Enders replaced Lopez and gave up a two-run double to Ben Grieve and Matt Stairs’ two-run single to make it 9-0.
Lopez, who has been bothered by a left calf strain, allowed eight runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Terrence Long and Giambi had two-run doubles in the fifth as Oakland went up 13-2. The double gave Giambi 123 RBIs on the season, to match his career high.
Oakland’s Bo Porter hit his first major league homer, a two-run shot in the seventh. Jeremy Giambi added a solo shot in the eighth.
It was the second time the Giambi brothers have homered in the same game.
Notes: Jason Giambi, who has seven career grand slams, last drove in seven runs on June 7 against San Diego. ... Oakland LHP Mark Mulder will likely miss the rest of the regular season with a herniated disc. He was hurt working out Wednesday. ... Tampa Bay 3B Vinny Castilla, who has been on the disabled list three times this season, has not homered in 152 at-bats dating back to a May 27 homer.