Originally created 05/27/05

Devil Rays squeak by Athletics



ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Hideo Nomo took a shutout into the eighth inning and Carl Crawford snapped a scoreless tie with a sixth-inning single to help the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 2-1 Thursday.

Nomo struck out seven and walked two before leaving the game after yielding a leadoff homer to Marco Scutaro and a one-out single to Jason Kendall in the eighth. The Devil Rays bullpen then protected a one-run lead to give the 36-year-old right-hander his 199th win in his career in the United States and Japan.

It was Nomo's seventh attempt to move within one win of the 200 victories he needs to automatically gain membership in the Meikyuakai, one of two Hall of Fame equivalents in Japanese baseball. He has 121 wins in 11 major league seasons.

Crawford had two of Tampa Bay's four hits off Oakland starter Dan Haren (1-7), including a RBI single that gave the Devil Rays a 1-0 lead in the sixth. Julio Lugo followed with a run-scoring single to make it 2-0.

Nomo (3-4) allowed five hits in 7 1-3 innings, his longest outing of the season, and won for the first time since beating Randy Johnson at Yankee Stadium on April 19.

Trever Miller got two outs in the eighth, and Danys Baez worked the ninth for his sixth save in nine opportunities.

A night after scoring 10 runs in the first inning and finishing with 15 hits - nine for extra bases - in a 14-6 victory, Tampa Bay's bats went silent against a pitcher who hasn't won since April 18.

Haren limited the Devil Rays to Crawford's leadoff single in the first, retiring 16 in a row before Nick Green tripled with two outs in the sixth. Crawford's second hit snapped the 0-0 tie, and the two-time AL stolen base champion trotted home on Lugo's RBI single after stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch.

Haren's six-game losing streak equals the longest of his career. Oakland has dropped five straight and 14 of 17 to fall a season-high 12 games under.500 - the farthest the A's have been under.500 since they finished the 1998 season at 74-88.

Haren allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked none.

Notes: The Devil Rays' double-digit first inning Wednesday was the third in that inning in the majors this month. St. Louis scored 11 against San Diego on May 8, and the Los Angeles Dodgers had 10 against Cincinnati on May 6. From 2000-2004, it happened just four times.... Oakland's Nick Swisher was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position the past two games and is 0-for-his-last 16 in those situations.