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.