Oakland at Tampa Bay

Final 11th
Tampa Bay
W: J. Lueke (1-2) L: D. Otero (4-1)
HR: OAK - None   TB - S. Rodriguez (5)

Rodriguez belts walk-off HR, Rays rally past A's in 11th

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It took the Tampa Bay Rays 11 innings into the third game of the series to come through with a big hit against the Oakland Athletics.

Sean Rodriguez hit a three-run home run with two out in the 11th on Thursday to lift the Rays to a 5-2 victory that ended their four-game losing streak -- and Oakland's five-game winning streak.

"I wouldn't say it would have been the end of the world if we'd have lost that one, but the morale would have been a little lower," said Alex Cobb, who pitched 6 2-3 shutout innings in his first start since April 12. "It was a huge win for us. For Roddy to go off in that fashion and deliver that to us is a big boost that is very welcome."

Rodriguez's team-leading fifth home run came off Luke Gregerson after Desmond Jennings' two-out single had tied it against Dan Otero (4-1).

"It was obviously good to get a win after the fact that we were able to go that many innings with the pitchers throwing as well as they did," Rodriguez said.

Yeonis Cespedes' sacrifice fly had given the A's a 2-1 lead in the top of the 11th. Cespedes also drove in the first Oakland run with an RBI double in the ninth off Rays closer Grant Balfour.

Josh Lueke (1-2) got the victory after one inning of relief for the Rays, who had scored only four runs during their four-game losing streak.

"It was great for our guys to do that," said manager Joe Maddon. "We needed some kind of a boost all night and we were foiled in our attempts."

The Athletics lost for only the second time in 13 games.

"It's always nice to win a series, but when you've won two and you're ahead, not being able to close it out is a little disappointing," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "But you pick up and go on to tomorrow."

Yunel Escobar drove in the Rays' first run with a single in the seventh off Oakland starter Sonny Gray, who pitches eight innings and reduced his league-leading earned run average to 1.99.

Cobb gave up three hits and two walks while striking out six after spending 35 days on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. The right-hander tied a franchise record with his third consecutive scoreless start.

"It felt like for a while there might not be any runs scored," Melvin said. "You've just got to wait out the starting pitcher and try to get to the bullpen."

The Rays' final out in the ninth came when Jennings was caught stealing. The original call of safe was overturned by a replay challenge that took two minutes and 13 seconds.


Rays manager Joe Maddon had struggling slugger Evan Longoria bat second for the second successive game, saying he wanted the third baseman to have a "try-and-get-on-base" attitude. Longoria hit only .196 over his previous 29 games. ... OF Coco Crisp and SS Jed Lowrie returned to the A's lineup simultaneously after missing games with sore necks.. .. Tampa Bay 2B Ben Zobrist said he still has some inflammation in his dislocated left thumb but hopes to return around May 30. ... Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (arthroscopic right elbow surgery) threw 34 pitches during his first batting practice session and expects to return before the All-Star break. ... Oakland LHP Scott Kazmir (5-1) will face Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (4-4) Friday night in Toronto. ... Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (3-2) and Boston RHP John Lackey (5-3) are Friday night's scheduled starters.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Sean Rodriguez is stripped of his uniform top after giving the Rays the victory with a game-ending home run.  (USATSI)
Sean Rodriguez is stripped of his uniform top after giving the Rays the victory with a game-ending home run. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

S. Gray
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 2
K 3
Tampa Bay

S. Rodriguez
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Oakland Athletics
Coco Crisp, CF5010000 .254
John Jaso, C4020010 .284
   Craig Gentry, PR0100000 .274
   Derek Norris, C1000010 .340
Josh Donaldson, DH3120200 .276
Brandon Moss, 1B5000027 .291
Yoenis Cespedes, LF4012010 .248
Jed Lowrie, SS4000110 .251
Josh Reddick, RF4000023 .218
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3000123 .230
Eric Sogard, 2B4000011 .181
Sonny Gray, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
   Dan Otero, P0000000 .000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
2B - John Jaso (6, Cobb), Josh Donaldson (11, Lueke), Yoenis Cespedes (14, Balfour)
SF - Yoenis Cespedes (2)
RBI - Yoenis Cespedes 2 (29)
SB - Craig Gentry (7, 2nd base off Balfour/Molina)
Team LOB - 7
Oakland Athletics
Sonny Gray 8511230 1.99
Fernando Abad 0.1100010 2.33
Dan Otero (L,4-1) 2.1333010 2.43
Luke Gregerson 0111001 2.63
Pitches-Strikes - Sonny Gray 93-59, Fernando Abad 7-6, Dan Otero 38-24, Luke Gregerson 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sonny Gray 14-7, Dan Otero 2-3
Batters Faced - Sonny Gray 31, Fernando Abad 2, Dan Otero 9, Luke Gregerson 1
Tampa Bay Rays
David DeJesus, DH4010112 .263
Evan Longoria, 3B5110013 .251
Matt Joyce, LF5010002 .278
Wil Myers, RF5000015 .238
James Loney, 1B4010120 .310
   Logan Forsythe, PR0100000 .179
Desmond Jennings, CF5221001 .241
Cole Figueroa, 2B3010000 .143
   a-Brandon Guyer, PH1000001 .200
   Sean Rodriguez, 2B1113000 .235
Yunel Escobar, SS4011000 .265
Jose Molina, C4010000 .121
Alex Cobb, P0000000 .000
   Jake McGee, P0000000 .000
   Joel Peralta, P0000000 .000
   Grant Balfour, P0000000 .000
   Juan Carlos Oviedo, P0000000 .000
   Josh Lueke, P0000000 .000
a-lined out for Figueroa in the 9th
HR - Sean Rodriguez (5, Gregerson)
RBI - Desmond Jennings (11), Sean Rodriguez 3 (14), Yunel Escobar (11)
2-OUT RBI - Desmond Jennings (4), Sean Rodriguez 3 (7)
CS - Desmond Jennings (3, 2nd base by Otero/Norris)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Loney-Escobar-Cobb
Tampa Bay Rays
Alex Cobb 6.2300260 1.40
Jake McGee 0.1000010 1.33
Joel Peralta (H,7) 1000020 4.87
Grant Balfour (BS,2) 1211210 5.89
Juan Carlos Oviedo 1000010 1.84
Josh Lueke (W,1-2) 1111000 4.73
IBB - Lowrie by Grant Balfour
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Cobb 96-66, Jake McGee 4-3, Joel Peralta 13-9, Grant Balfour 27-15, Juan Carlos Oviedo 18-11, Josh Lueke 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Cobb 8-5, Joel Peralta 1-0, Josh Lueke 2-1
Batters Faced - Alex Cobb 24, Jake McGee 1, Joel Peralta 3, Grant Balfour 7, Juan Carlos Oviedo 3, Josh Lueke 4
Game Information
Attendance - 11257
Game Time - 3:45
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Pat Hoberg, Third Base - Bill Welke