Oakland at Tampa Bay

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Oakland (12-5)2000001003111
Tampa Bay (6-10) «40130000x8100

Longoria keys Rays over A's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays are finally showing signs of heating up offensively.

Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Ben Zobrist had a pair of RBI singles to pace a 10-hit attack that carried the struggling team to an 8-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.

A night after slugging four solo home runs in a 10-inning loss that concluded a 2-7 road trip, the Rays matched a season-high for runs, with much of the production coming from unlikely sources.

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"It's still not there. We still need to improve in certain areas, but it's wins like this that can get you going in the right direction," manager Joe Maddon said after his team won for just just the third time in 11 games. "It's all about confidence."

Jose Lobaton also drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to back the pitching of Alex Cobb (2-1), who allowed three runs and 10 hits over 7 1/3 innings.

Brandon Moss and Jed Lowrie, who went 4 for 4, had run-scoring singles off Cobb in the first for the A's. Starting pitcher Brett Anderson (1-3) left with an ankle injury after Tampa Bay scored four times in the bottom half of the inning.

"It's pretty sore, a little swollen. It's kind of early to tell the severity of it," said Anderson, who was hurt on his next-to-next pitch. "It's kind of depressing. I just landed and felt not great. ... I don't know if my heel hit too hard and kind of jarred something there or what. Just landed a little wrong."

Oakland's Coco Crisp extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning double and added a solo homer off Cobb in the seventh.

The A's loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth before Fernando Rodney -- in a non-save situation -- struck out John Jaso and got Seth Smith to ground into a game-ending double play.

"You always want to keep grinding and try to get the closer in the game, which we did, Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He threw some pitches. We had him on the ropes, but he got out of it. It's kind of who we are and try to be is not go down quietly."

Longoria homered for the fourth time in five games and has reached base safely in each of the Rays' 16 games. Only two players in franchise history have had longer streaks to begin a season -- Rocco Baldelli (24 in 2003) and Jorge Cantu (20 in 2005).

The Tampa Bay star went deep in the fourth inning off Evan Scribner, who allowed an RBI single to Ryan Roberts in the third and Zobrist earlier in the fourth.

Before Lobaton's hit made it 4-2, the Rays had gone 0 for 12 with the bases loaded this season. Four of Tampa Bay's first five runs were driven in by the bottom half of the batting order, with the switch-hitting Lobaton and Roberts each picking up their first RBI of the year.

"We had a good look about us," Maddon said. "I've talked about us needing to get more productivity up and down the lineup."

The A's said a sprained right ankle forced Anderson's departure after allowing four runs, four hits and two walks during a 36-pitch first inning.

Oakland, which had won three straight, scored twice in the first before a baserunning mistake cost them a chance for an even bigger inning. Moss was tagged out in a rundown between first and second base on his RBI single, helping Cobb escape the jam and settle in after a shaky start. The A's didn't have another man reach base until Lowrie singled leading off the fourth.

Lowrie, who's batting .413, ended Cobb's night with a one-out double in the eighth.

"He's been as about as consistent as you can be," Melvin said. "Up over .400 now at this time of year is pretty good."

Notes

  • A moment of silence was observed to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
  • Lobaton's two-run single snapped Tampa Bay's string of 14 consecutive at-bats without a hit with the bases-loaded, a stretch that began last Sept. 21.
  • Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes (strained left hand muscle) is playing catch but hasn't resumed swinging a bat. "The swelling is down, the range of motion is getting better each and every day," manager Bob Melvin said.
  • Oakland INF Hiro Nakajima (strained left hamstring) will join the Athletics' extended spring training team on Monday.
  • Oakland INF Adam Rosales (strained left intercostal muscle) is expected to remain on a minor league rehab through the middle of next week.
  • The A's reinstated Moss from the paternity list and optioned OF-INF Shane Peterson to Triple-A Sacramento. Moss had two hits off Cobb.
 
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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Evan Longoria goes long for the fourth time in five games and has reached base safely in the Rays' last 16 games.  (Getty Images)
Evan Longoria goes long for the fourth time in five games and has reached base safely in the Rays' last 16 games. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Oakland

C. Crisp
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4221101 .345
John Jaso, C5000015 .265
Seth Smith, DH4100101 .405
Jed Lowrie, SS4041000 .413
Brandon Moss, 1B3021001 .306
Chris Young, LF4000016 .179
Josh Reddick, RF4000025 .109
Josh Donaldson, 3B4020000 .258
Eric Sogard, 2B3010100 .295
Totals35311334  
Batting
2B - Coco Crisp (7, Cobb), Jed Lowrie (8, Cobb)
HR - Coco Crisp (5, Cobb)
RBI - Coco Crisp (9), Jed Lowrie (14), Brandon Moss (14)
2-OUT RBI - Coco Crisp (5)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Lowrie-Sogard-Moss
E - John Jaso (2, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Anderson (L,1-3) 1444210 5.95
Evan Scribner 3444211 4.26
Jerry Blevins 2000020 0.93
Pat Neshek 1100000 4.05
Chris Resop 1100010 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Anderson 36-18, Evan Scribner 65-39, Jerry Blevins 22-16, Pat Neshek 14-11, Chris Resop 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Anderson 2-0, Evan Scribner 3-5, Jerry Blevins 2-3, Chris Resop 1-0
Batters Faced - Brett Anderson 9, Evan Scribner 15, Jerry Blevins 7, Pat Neshek 4, Chris Resop 3
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF3200201 .242
Kelly Johnson, LF3000121 .190
    Sam Fuld, LF1000010 .077
Ben Zobrist, RF4222002 .286
Evan Longoria, 3B4112023 .281
Shelley Duncan, DH3210100 .243
Sean Rodriguez, 1B3111001 .176
   a- James Loney, PH-1B1010000 .308
Ryan Roberts, 2B4021001 .250
Jose Lobaton, C4012002 .182
Yunel Escobar, SS4010003 .125
Totals34810845  
a-singled for S. Rodriguez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Shelley Duncan (1, Scribner)
HR - Evan Longoria (4, Scribner)
RBI - Ben Zobrist 2 (12), Evan Longoria 2 (9), Sean Rodriguez (3), Ryan Roberts (1), Jose Lobaton 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Sean Rodriguez (2), Jose Lobaton 2 (2)
SB - Desmond Jennings (5, 2nd base off Scribner/Jaso), Kelly Johnson (2, 2nd base off Scribner/Jaso), Ben Zobrist (2, 2nd base off Scribner/Jaso)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Kelly Johnson 1
DP - Roberts-Escobar-S. Rodriguez, Rodney-Lobaton-Loney
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alex Cobb (W,2-1) 7.11033131 2.53
Jamey Wright0000000 2.16
Kyle Farnsworth 0.2100000 4.50
Fernando Rodney 1000210 5.79
HBP - Moss (by Jamey Wright)
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Cobb 101-64, Jamey Wright 4-2, Kyle Farnsworth 6-5, Fernando Rodney 21-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Cobb 10-7, Kyle Farnsworth 1-1, Fernando Rodney 1-0
Batters Faced - Alex Cobb 31, Jamey Wright 1, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Fernando Rodney 4
Game Information
Attendance - 15115
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Cory Blaser, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Ed Hickox