The Oakland A’s continued their surprising push towards the postseason, defeating the Rays 4-3 in a marathon 15 inning game.
Oakland jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Yoenis Cespedes led off the inning with an infield single, and scored on a Chris Carter double to deep left field. With one out, Kurt Suzuki doubled to deep right, driving in Carter to give the A’s the early advantage.
The Rays tied the game in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Carlos Pena doubled to deep right, driving in Jeff Keppinger and Matt Joyce to knot the game at 2-2. Joyce gave the Rays a brief 3-2 lead with a two-out solo home run to right. The Rays had a chance to extend the lead in the top of the seventh, however, Pena was thrown out attempted to get to third on a single by Jose Molina, and Molina was caught stealing in a strikeout – throwout double play.
Tampa’s problems on the basepaths would prove costly, as Brandon Hicks tied the game for Oakland in the bottom of the frame, hitting a solo home run with two out to tie the game at 3-3. David Price left after the seventh, giving up 3 earned runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 11 batters.
Brandon Inge led off the bottom of the fifteenth with a single to right field, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Suzuki. After two intentional walks loaded the bases, Jemile Weeks lofted a sacrifice fly to center, plating Inge and giving Oakland the 4-3 victory. With the win, Oakland is now 19-4 in the month of July.
Game Notes: The Rays team record tying scoreless inning streak was snapped at 24. Oakland has 12 walkoff wins this season, most in the majors. The A’s struck out a team record 21 times.