Oakland at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: J. Nelson (1-0) L: B. Ziegler (0-1)
HR: OAK - None   TB - J. Bartlett (6), B. Zobrist (8)

Zobrist, Crawford spark Rays' three-run rally in ninth vs. A's

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Ben Zobrist, pinch hitter deluxe.

Zobrist came off the bench and tied the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, then Carl Crawford won it with an RBI single to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 6-5 victory against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

"He's turning into a cult figure," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Zobrist.

Zobrist got the Rays even at 5 with the home run off Andrew Bailey.

"I tried to throw a backdoor cutter and it just went middle," Bailey said. "It wasn't away enough."

Zobrist is 4-for-12 with three home runs and nine RBI as a pinch hitter this season.

"For me sometimes, it's freeing to know that you've got one shot and might as well take your hacks," Zobrist said. "It's pretty easy not to get a hit in the situation. It's a tough situation. I kind of tell myself I've got nothing to lose. Go up there and look for something hard to hit, and if it's in the zone just try to put a good swing on it."

After Dioner Navarro doubled and B.J. Upton walked against Brad Ziegler (0-1), Crawford lined the game-winning single to center.

"It would have been a bad loss, absolutely," Maddon said.

Adam Kennedy had an RBI single and Ryan Sweeney drew a bases-loaded walk off Joe Nelson (1-0) to give Oakland a 5-3 lead in the top of the ninth.

Tampa Bay's Matt Garza allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Oakland left-hander Dallas Braden gave up three runs and six hits over seven innings.

Two walks and Jason Giambi's single off the wall in center field against Tampa Bay closer Troy Percival loaded the bases in the ninth. Kennedy's single made it 4-3 and Sweeney followed with his RBI walk.

Pinch-runner Rajai Davis advanced only from second to third on Giambi's hit, and was running back toward second when the ball was at the wall.

"It was just a flat-out baserunning mistake, and you can't make those mistakes at this level," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "Especially if that's your job."

Jason Bartlett gave the Rays a 3-2 lead with his sixth home run, a solo shot in the sixth. He had only one home run in 128 games last season. Bartlett went 1-for-4, and is hitting .376 this year.

Oakland tied it at 3 on Orlando Cabrera's RBI single off Dan Wheeler in the eighth. The Athletics failed in their bid for a season-high three-game winning streak.

Gabe Kapler hit an RBI double and Upton drove in a run with an infield single as Tampa Bay went ahead 2-0 in the second.

The Athletics made it 2-2 in the fourth on Kennedy's RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Sweeney.

Tampa Bay completed an eight-game homestand against Cleveland and Oakland with a 5-3 record.

The game was delayed 19 minutes with two outs in the bottom of the first because of a power failure at Tropicana Field. The Rays said a nearby electrical substation was affected by a lightning strike.

The umpires pulled the Athletics off the field as power was being restored.

"I was bitter, to quite bitter about it," Braden said of the delay. "There's not much you can really do when the lights go out. Played catch, tried not to get struck by lightning or whatever was going on out there. Nice state, Florida."


  • The AL record for pinch-hit homers in a season is five, set by Boston's Joe Cronin in 1943.
  • Upton had two hits in four at-bats. He entered 1-for-25 against the Athletics this season.
  • Oakland RHP Justin Duchscherer (right elbow surgery) threw at 60 feet on level ground.
Copyright 2017 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.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Carl Crawford (left) celebrates with Willy Aybar after capping the come-from-behind, walk-off victory.  (AP)
Carl Crawford (left) celebrates with Willy Aybar after capping the come-from-behind, walk-off victory. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

A. Kennedy
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
Orlando Cabrera, SS5011003 .242
Kurt Suzuki, C5010020 .305
Jack Cust, RF4010121 .261
    Rajai Davis, PR-CF0100000 .167
Matt Holliday, LF3210202 .271
Jason Giambi, DH4120101 .208
Adam Kennedy, 2B5032012 .386
Ryan Sweeney, CF-RF3022102 .257
Bobby Crosby, 1B4100137 .205
Jack Hannahan, 3B4010127 .143
SF - Ryan Sweeney (3)
RBI - Orlando Cabrera (15), Adam Kennedy 2 (7), Ryan Sweeney 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera (9)
SB - Rajai Davis (5, 2nd base off Percival/Navarro)
Team LOB - 13
Oakland Athletics
Dallas Braden 7633241 3.67
Andrew Bailey 1.1222101 2.03
Brad Ziegler (L,0-1)0211100 4.15
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Braden 97-69, Andrew Bailey 25-16, Brad Ziegler 11-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Braden 5-11
Batters Faced - Dallas Braden 28, Andrew Bailey 7, Brad Ziegler 3
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF4021111 .186
Carl Crawford, LF5011012 .318
Evan Longoria, 3B4010011 .329
Carlos Pena, 1B3000111 .245
Jason Bartlett, SS4111003 .376
Willy Aybar, DH2210200 .284
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4000003 .295
Gabe Kapler, RF3111000 .200
   a- Ben Zobrist, PH1112000 .281
Dioner Navarro, C4120001 .189
a-homered for Kapler in the 9th
2B - Willy Aybar (5, Braden), Gabe Kapler (7, Braden), Dioner Navarro (5, Ziegler)
HR - Jason Bartlett (6, Braden), Ben Zobrist (8, Bailey)
RBI - B.J. Upton (7), Carl Crawford (19), Jason Bartlett (23), Gabe Kapler (3), Ben Zobrist 2 (22)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton (4), Jason Bartlett (8)
CS - B.J. Upton (3, 2nd base by Braden/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 7
Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Garza 6.2722480 3.41
Brian Shouse (H,6) 0.2111010 3.77
Dan Wheeler (BS,2) 0.2200000 5.40
Troy Percival 0.1122200 6.35
Joe Nelson (W,1-0) 0.2100110 5.60
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 107-64, Brian Shouse 14-11, Dan Wheeler 10-5, Troy Percival 23-9, Joe Nelson 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 4-8, Brian Shouse 1-0, Dan Wheeler 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 31, Brian Shouse 3, Dan Wheeler 3, Troy Percival 4, Joe Nelson 4
Game Information
Attendance - 14374
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez