Tampa Bay at Oakland

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (72-47) «110000100380
Oakland (55-64)000020000270

Rays edge Athletics to maintain three-game lead over Red Sox

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Andy Sonnanstine learned a few things from his previous outings against Oakland. The most important lesson was trusting himself.

Eric Hinske had three hits, including a home run, and Ben Zobrist doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Athletics 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Sonnanstine (12-6) beat an AL West team for the first time in five decisions, and won his second straight following a three-game losing streak as the Rays have spent all but two days in first place in the AL East since June 28.

"I didn't feel sharp the last time I pitched here," said Sonnanstine, who lost his two previous starts against the A's. "I wanted to be aggressive and stay aggressive. That really worked out. I feel like if I stick to my game plan it sets me up for success."

Sonnanstine lasted six innings, allowing two runs and six hits with a walk and six strikeouts, one shy of his season high. He's given up five runs in his past 19 1/3 innings (2.33 ERA) after allowing 14 in his previous 19 innings.

"Sony had really good stuff," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "His last two outings are as good as I've seen him in a long time. He's always been a winner."

Sonnanstine became the quickest pitcher to 12 wins (119th game) in Rays history.

Carlos Pena hit a home run for the Rays, who maintained their three-game lead over the Boston Red Sox. The Rays have won four of five and 10 of 14.

"We just keep on playing," Pena said. "It's important to focus on the present. This is a young team but we've behaved maturely and it happened naturally. We're able to handle things."

Eric Patterson, who was recalled from Sacramento earlier Wednesday, drove in two runs for the A's, who fell to 7-22 since trading Rich Harden to the Chicago Cubs. Patterson was part of the trade.

Mark Ellis and Bobby Crosby both had two hits for the A's, who were seven games over .500 and 3½ behind the Red Sox in the wild-card race when Harden was moved.

"We had first and third, nobody out, and don't score," A's manager Bob Geren said. "That's a big blow. We tried to force some contact there and push a run across and that's about it. It's difficult to win when you're not getting enough runs."

Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler both pitched a scoreless inning and Troy Percival worked the ninth for his 27th save in 30 chances. It was his 34th career save against the A's, his most against any team.

Justin Duchscherer (10-8) lost his third consecutive decision and remains winless in his past six starts. He gave up three runs and six hits with a walk and a career-high eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

"Sometimes you make pitches and they just beat you," Duchscherer said. "Two solo home runs, I didn't feel like it was going to beat me. I battled through it got into the seventh and had a little bit of an unfortunate bounce on the last hitter and that ended up costing us the game."

Duchscherer gave up two home runs in a game for the third time, and allowed only his 10th and 11th of the season. He allowed more than two earned runs in back-to-back games for the first time.

Notes

  • A's 1B Mike Sweeney (knee surgery) took part in pregame activities for the second successive day.
  • A's OF Ryan Sweeney went on the DL with a sprained right thumb.
  • The Rays are 32-0 when Percival enters a game in a save situation.
  • Rolando Arrojo recorded his 12th victory in the Rays' 135th game in 1998.
  • The A's have scored four or fewer runs in each of their past 15 games, a team record.
  • Ellis is a career .345 hitter against the Rays, his best mark against any AL team.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Access denied: Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro tags out Oakland's Kurt Suzuki in the third inning.  (AP)
Access denied: Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro tags out Oakland's Kurt Suzuki in the third inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

E. Hinske
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Oakland

J. Duchscherer
IP 6.1
H 6
ER 3
BB 1
K 8
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4010112 .279
B.J. Upton, CF4000111 .263
Carlos Pena, 1B3111113 .243
Cliff Floyd, DH2000121 .258
   a- Rocco Baldelli, PH-DH2000012 .222
Willy Aybar, 3B3000101 .225
Eric Hinske, LF3131000 .254
    Justin Ruggiano, PR-LF1100011 .257
Dioner Navarro, C4010032 .297
Gabe Gross, RF4010023 .228
Ben Zobrist, SS4011000 .233
Totals34383512  
a-struck out for Floyd in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ben Zobrist (4, Blevins)
HR - Carlos Pena (22, Duchscherer), Eric Hinske (17, Duchscherer)
RBI - Carlos Pena (66), Eric Hinske (50), Ben Zobrist (9)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Pena (19)
SB - Carlos Pena (1, 2nd base off Duchscherer/Suzuki)
CS - Akinori Iwamura (5, 2nd base by Duchscherer/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Eric Hinske 1
DP - Pena-Zobrist, Aybar-Iwamura-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
Andy Sonnanstine (W,12-6) 6622160 4.35
Grant Balfour (H,7) 1100110 1.23
Dan Wheeler (H,26) 1000020 2.66
Troy Percival (S,27) 1000200 3.49
WP - Andy Sonnanstine (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 91-63, Grant Balfour 15-9, Dan Wheeler 15-10, Troy Percival 20-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 4-5, Grant Balfour 1-1
Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 22, Grant Balfour 5, Dan Wheeler 3, Troy Percival 4
Oakland Athletics
Mark Ellis, 2B4020012 .234
Carlos Gonzalez, CF4000031 .269
Frank Thomas, DH4000010 .247
Jack Cust, RF3000110 .228
    Rajai Davis, PR0000000 .207
Bobby Crosby, SS4120000 .252
Jack Hannahan, 1B-3B2110000 .224
   a- Emil Brown, PH0000100 .249
Kurt Suzuki, C3010102 .288
Eric Patterson, LF2012111 .200
Cliff Pennington, 3B2000013 .000
   b- Daric Barton, PH-1B1000012 .209
Totals2927249  
a-walked for Hannahan in the 9th
b-struck out for Pennington in the 7th
Batting
2B - Bobby Crosby (31, Sonnanstine)
SH - Jack Hannahan (3)
RBI - Eric Patterson 2 (9)
CS - Rajai Davis (6, 2nd base by Percival/Navarro)
Team LOB - 5
Oakland Athletics
Justin Duchscherer (L,10-8) 6.1633182 2.59
Jerry Blevins 0.2100110 2.41
Alan Embree 1100130 5.28
Huston Street 1000200 4.56
IBB - Upton by Jerry Blevins
HBP - Pena (by Justin Duchscherer)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Duchscherer 107-65, Jerry Blevins 23-13, Alan Embree 23-11, Huston Street 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Duchscherer 7-3, Huston Street 2-1
Batters Faced - Justin Duchscherer 26, Jerry Blevins 4, Alan Embree 5, Huston Street 5
Game Information
Attendance - 21438
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Brian O'Nora