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.