A's Suffer Letdown As Rays Salvage Series Split

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Series Split With Rays Show A's Season In A Nutshell

The Oakland A’s wrapped up their 7-game stand with a 4-3 record after losing to the Rays 3-2 in today’s matinee. The Rays received a strong pitching performance from Matt Garza, who held the A’s to 1 run on 4 hits over 7.1 innings.

The A’s hung close behind Dallas Braden, but they were unable to make a sufficient dent in the Rays lead. The A’s were down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Landon Powell lined a single up the middle. After pinch-runner Kurt Suzuki stole second uncontested, Gabe Gross hit a two-strike double down the right field line, scoring Suzuki. Rays closer Rafael Soriano struck out Cliff Pennington to end the game.

This series was really a microcosm of the A’s season. They won the first two games and looked like they might be able to gain some ground on the Rangers. Then, last night they dropped a late-inning heart-breaker on a night in which the Rangers also lost. They followed that up with a tough loss today to finish with the split, much like their .500 season has gone. The A’s have bounced around .500 for some time now and are back to 8 games out of first. After an off-day tomorrow, the A’s open up a 10-game road trip at Cleveland.

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A's Look To Take Third Game In A Row From Rays

The Oakland A’s have won four in a row and look to make it five straight tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays at the Coliseum. The A’s moved back over .500 to 61-60 and are hoping to continue their ankle-biter status with the Rangers. The A’s remain seven games back of the division-leading Rangers, but haven’t quite yet been put to bed.

Tonight’s game is notable for the pitching matchup of Brett Anderson and David Price. Anderson is only 3-4 but when healthy he’s been very solid for the A’s, as seen by his 2.89 era. Anderson was expected to be the ace of the rotation and was secure in that role before losing time to elbow problems. Trevor Cahill has stepped up as the team’s ace, but Anderson remains a strong presence.

The Rays counter with All-Star David Price. Price is 15-5 with a 2.85 era and is coming off a 6 inning no decision against Texas. He made a start earlier this season against the A’s in which he went 7.2 innings and gave up 1 run on 3 hits.

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Pennington, A's Outlast Hellickson And The Rays With Late 5-4 Win

The Oakland A’s guaranteed at least a split with the Tampa Bay Rays with a dramatic come-from-behind 5-4 victory tonight. The A’s trailed most of the game as they could not break through early on. However, they slowly chipped away and finally took the lead in the bottom of the 8th on a monstrous hustle play by Cliff Pennington.

The A’s were down 4-3 heading into the 8th, and a phenomenal Kouzmanoff at bat put men on second and third with nobody out. A sac fly scored one run before Travis Buck struck out for the second out of the inning. Cliff Pennington then hit a grounder to the second basemen, Ben Zobrist. The ball took a funny hop however, and Zobrist misplayed the ball. His throw was late to first and the A’s suddenly had the lead, which they held on to for a huge win.

The win puts the A’s back to a game over .500, and they remain 7 games back of the Rangers. The A’s have bounced over .500 on occasion over the last month but have always stumbled back to earth. A split of these final two games would be big, while a 4-game sweep would be monstrous. The Rangers are likely to make quick work of the Orioles, so the A’s need every win they can get.

The two teams return tomorrow with arguably the best pitching matchup of the weekend between Brett Anderson and David Price.

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Vin Mazzaro and Jeremy Hellickson Lead A's And Rays In Battle of Youngsters

The Oakland A’s look to take the second game of their four game series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s send out Vin Mazzaro who was a tough luck loser last weekend against the Twins, lasting six innings while allowing 1 earned run. He faces yet another top Rays prospect in Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson is expected to go back to the bullpen in the coming days but is looking to finish off an impressive string of starts. Since being called up August 2, Hellickson is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA. In this year of the pitcher, it is one more impressive young arm.

While the Rays are in a close battle for first place in the AL East, the A’s are looking to hang around the divisional race in the AL West. Last night’s Cahill win moved the A’s right back to .500 at 60-60 and with the Rangers finding themselves in a 4-game losing streak, the A’s and Angels have each climbed to within 7 games of Texas. While the Rangers get a weekend series with the Orioles, the A’s and Angels have to handle the Rays and Twins, respectively.

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A's Rally Over Rays To Give Trevor Cahill 13th Win

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Cliff Pennington’s two-run double in the bottom of the sixth was the difference, as the Oakland Athletics edged Tampa Bay, 4-3, in the opener of a four-game series at the Coliseum.

Kurt Suzuki and Rajai Davis both added a run-scoring groundout for Oakland, which has won three straight after losing four in a row.

Trevor Cahill (13-5) gave up three runs over eight solid innings for the Athletics. The right-hander did allow seven hits, ending his streak of 20 consecutive starts with six hits or fewer and at least five innings pitched. He had matched the modern major league record set by Nolan Ryan, who established the mark from July 27, 1972 to April 18, 1973 while a member of the California Angels.

Carlos Pena blasted a two-run homer and Evan Longoria added a solo blast for the Rays, who had a five-game winning streak halted and fell one game behind New York for first place in the American League East. The Yankees beat Detroit earlier Thursday.

Tampa Bay’s Andy Sonnanstine did not figure in the decision after yielding three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

“It’s more disappointing on a team standpoint. I thought we had a good shot to win that game,” Sonnanstine said.

Longoria’s one-out blast in the top of the sixth put the Rays up 3-1, but Oakland rallied in the bottom of the inning.

Suzuki led off with a walk and Jack Cust followed with a single. One out later, Dan Wheeler (2-1) replaced Sonnanstine and walked Kevin Kouzmanoff to load the bases, setting up Davis’ run-producing grounder. Pennington then ripped a double to right field to give the A’s the lead.

Jerry Blevins tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to record the first save of his career.

“You want to shut the door for the team,” Blevins said. “They played unbelievable defense. Trevor’s been outstanding all year. It’s nice to get him another win.”

Oakland scratched out a run in the first on Suzuki’s ground ball, but Pena’s team-leading 24th home run of the season put Tampa Bay in front in the fourth.

Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, matching a career high…Oakland finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position…The Rays fell to 14-7 against teams from the AL West.

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