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Oakland at Tampa Bay

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Oakland (13-22)101000020490
Tampa Bay (20-20) «60302200x1391

Rays batter A's behind five RBI from Bartlett, lose steals streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jason Bartlett goes about his business quietly with the AL champion Rays, content to stay out of the spotlight in a clubhouse full of rising young stars.

The slick-fielding shortstop solidified Tampa Bay's defense during last season's run to the World Series. Now, his hot bat is one of the reasons the team has been able to put together a season-best four-game winning streak and is back to .500 for the first time since mid-April.

"I know he played really well last year. But at no point did I see him play this well," manager Joe Maddon said after Bartlett drove in a career-high five runs in Monday night's 13-4 rout of the Oakland Athletics. "I'm talking a complete game."

Bartlett went 3-for-3 with a walk to raise his batting average to .384. He had a two-run single off Sean Gallagher (1-2) in the first, as well as a run-scoring triple in the fifth and a two-run single in the sixth off Gio Gonzalez.

Bartlett's most impressive contribution might have been scoring from second base on a passed ball in the first inning. Yet Bartlett insisted he was not satisfied with his performance because he also committed a throwing error that helped Oakland score its first run.

"I take a lot of pride in my defense," he said. "It would have been a great day if I hadn't made the error."

Rookie right-hander Jeff Niemann (4-3) allowed four runs and eight hits in eight innings to win for the fourth time in five decisions. He struck out three and walked none in the longest outing of his career.

Jason Isringhausen, who came off the disabled list Sunday, pitched the ninth for Tampa Bay -- his first appearance in a major league game since undergoing right elbow surgery in September, when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals.

"It was good to get out there," said Isringhausen, who had last thrown in a game Aug. 16 at Cincinnati.

"I had nerves, believe me. It started in the second or third inning because I didn't know when I'd be used," the 36-year-old right-hander said. "Niemann did a great job going out there through eight innings. It was a big pickup for the bullpen."

The A's, swept at Detroit last weekend, have been outscored 47-13 during a four-game losing streak in which their starting pitchers have yielded 31 runs (23 earned) in 13 innings. Despite giving up just three hits, Gallagher allowed nine runs in 2 1/3 innings.

"We've hit a big bump in our pitching," A's manager Bob Geren said. "It needs to improve, and it will."

Akinori Iwamura drove in three runs for the Rays, who had at least one stolen base in each of the previous 19 games. After building a big early lead, they didn't even attempt a steal.

The streak was the longest in the AL since the 1914 Yankees swiped a base in 19 straight games.

Bartlett's first two RBI came during Tampa Bay's six-run first. That inning, Gallagher walked Ben Zobrist with the bases loaded, hit the next batter with a pitch to force in another run and later watched two others race home on a passed ball.

On the passed ball, catcher Kurt Suzuki appeared to lose sight of the pitch and was struck in the left shoulder while trying to duck out of the way.

"I lost control of the ball. I feel terrible," Gallagher said. "The guy is expecting the ball to break and it stays straight."

The A's scored on Jason Giambi's first-inning sacrifice fly, Orlando Cabrera's solo homer in the third and Jack Cust's two-run homer in the eighth.

Notes

  • The Rays stole 43 bases during their streak and lead the majors with 67.
  • Cabrera has homered in consecutive games after going 38 without one dating to last season.
  • Oakland put RHP Dan Giese (right elbow) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled Gonzalez from Triple-A Sacramento.
  • A's INF Nomar Garciaparra (right calf), on the DL since April 29, might be ready to return Wednesday. He ran the bases, fielded grounders at third base and took batting practice before the game.
  • Rays C Dioner Navarro was out of the lineup because of pink eye. He could return before the end of the series.
 
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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Jason Bartlett totals a career-high five RBI as the Rays win their fourth in a row.  (AP)
Jason Bartlett totals a career-high five RBI as the Rays win their fourth in a row. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Bartlett
AB 3
R 3
H 3
HR 0
RBI 5
Oakland

J. Cust
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Oakland Athletics
Orlando Cabrera, SS3111001 .233
    Aaron Cunningham, LF1000011 .000
Kurt Suzuki, C4110001 .320
Jack Cust, DH4122010 .270
Matt Holliday, LF3000000 .261
    Jack Hannahan, 3B1000000 .133
Jason Giambi, 1B2001000 .200
    Landon Powell, 1B1000000 .194
Adam Kennedy, 2B4020002 .367
Ryan Sweeney, CF3010000 .250
   a- Rajai Davis, PH1000001 .179
Bobby Crosby, 3B-SS4000002 .224
Travis Buck, RF3120010 .225
Totals3449403  
a-fouled out for Sweeney in the 9th
Batting
2B - Travis Buck (2, Niemann)
HR - Orlando Cabrera (2, Niemann), Jack Cust (6, Niemann)
SF - Jason Giambi (2)
RBI - Orlando Cabrera (12), Jack Cust 2 (23), Jason Giambi (17)
2-OUT RBI - Jack Cust 2 (13)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Kennedy-Giambi
PB - Kurt Suzuki (1)
Oakland Athletics
Sean Gallagher (L,1-2) 2.1397510 8.16
Gio Gonzalez 3.2644360 7.27
Kevin Cameron 2000130 2.45
HBP - Aybar (by Sean Gallagher)
WP - Sean Gallagher (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Sean Gallagher 76-40, Gio Gonzalez 91-54, Kevin Cameron 33-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean Gallagher 2-4, Gio Gonzalez 4-0, Kevin Cameron 3-0
Batters Faced - Sean Gallagher 16, Gio Gonzalez 19, Kevin Cameron 7
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF3100112 .183
    Gabe Gross, RF1000010 .254
Carl Crawford, LF3000001 .327
   a- Gabe Kapler, PH-CF2000010 .212
Evan Longoria, 3B5220010 .345
Carlos Pena, 1B2310310 .248
Ben Zobrist, RF-LF3101224 .279
Willy Aybar, DH2311201 .263
Jason Bartlett, SS3335100 .384
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4023012 .291
Michel Hernandez, C4001021 .258
Totals3213911910  
a-grounded out for Crawford in the 6th
Batting
3B - Jason Bartlett (2, G. Gonzalez)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (20), Willy Aybar (6), Jason Bartlett 5 (22), Akinori Iwamura 3 (15), Michel Hernandez (8)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Bartlett 2 (7)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Longoria-Iwamura-Pena, Longoria-Iwamura-Pena
E - Jason Bartlett (3, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
Jeff Niemann (W,4-3) 8843032 4.97
Jason Isringhausen 1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Niemann 110-75, Jason Isringhausen 17-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Niemann 11-9, Jason Isringhausen 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Niemann 31, Jason Isringhausen 4
Game Information
Attendance - 11420
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Randy Marsh