Crosby, Gonzalez help Athletics down RaysAug 13, 2008 - 6:29 AM By Al Barba PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Bobby Crosby homered and rookie Gio Gonzalez pitched five strong innings as the Oakland Athletics escaped with a 2-1 victory over the shorthanded Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
Crosby provided the Athletics with all the offense they needed in the second inning, launching his seventh home run - a two-run blast - off Rays starter Scott Kazmir (8-6).
The win was the second in 13 games for Oakland, which returned home on Tuesday after enduring a 1-9 road trip. The A's are 4-19 since the All-Star break.
"We had a rough road trip but we just need to turn the page," Crosby said. "It's a step in the right direction. We got what we needed and Gio pitched a great game. It was big for us."
The All-Star lefthander Kazmir suffered the loss, allowing two runs and two hits while walking two and striking out six in five frames.
"I put myself in a hole," said Kazmir, who has failed to make it out of the fifth inning in his last four starts.
"The last three innings I felt like everything was working good. I was going downhill and felt like the ball was coming out good. The last inning I threw a couple of sliders and all in all I just have to go deeper into the game. I think there was a lot I can take out of this start."
Crosby's homer proved too much for Tampa Bay to overcome, as it was playing without Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria, both of whom were placed on the 15-day disabled list within the past two days.
Crawford will have surgery on Thursday to repair the subluxation of his right middle finger tendon. He is scheduled to be out 6-8 weeks.
Longoria, an All-Star, went on the shelf Monday after suffering a right wrist fracture over the weekend.
Rays manager Joe Maddon wants his team to continue playing the way they have all season despite the injuries.
"I just want us to play hard," he said. "A continuous effort is what I'm looking for. I'm sure everybody feels it's their responsibility to pick things up. I just want them to keep playing the same game that we've been playing to this point."
Gonzalez (1-1) was too much for the injury-plagued Rays, yielding one run on a sacrifice fly by Akinori Iwamura in the third. The 22-year-old lefthander surrendered five hits while walking four and striking out five en route to his first victory.
"I was just happy my team came through. They helped out a lot," Gonzalez said. "I just look at it as my team was phenomenal. The pitching staff was unbelievable. They came through and helped me out and not only that, the offense was phenomenal. They swung the bat and came through early and this is a big win for all of us. I am just happy to be a part of it."
Jerry Blevins and Joey Devine bridged the gap to rookie Brad Ziegler, who worked around a fielding error by rookie first baseman Daric Barton in the ninth inning to record his second save.
Ziegler extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to an Oakland-record 38 frames. He also set an American League rookie record, breaking the previous mark set by Hank Thormahlen of the New York Yankees in 1918.
"I've come into a lot of games with a one-run lead, and whether it's the sixth inning or the ninth inning that run can mean the difference," Ziegler said. "We have to take advantage of the leads we get and thankfully tonight we were able to make the plays to get out of it."
Tampa Bay's muffed a scoring opportunity came in the fifth when Ben Zobrist opened the inning with a double and Jason Bartlett followed with an infield single to put runners at the corners with no outs.
However, Iwamura's bunt was fielded by Gonzalez, who tagged out Zobrist between third base and home. Bartlett, who advanced to second on the play, was then picked off by Gonzalez for the second out. The base-running mistake proved costly as B.J. Upton's single to right field likely would have plated Bartlett for the tying run.
"We kind of messed things up. We shot ourselves in the foot," Maddon said. "We tried one thing with the bunt and we didn't execute it very well. We didn't read that right and they made a good play in picking J.B. (Jason Bartlett) off.
"It's one of those situations where we were trying real hard and shot ourselves in the foot. Other than that I thought we played well except for making some base-running mistakes."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
TAMPA BAY 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 0
OAKLAND 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 2 4 1 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR, J.P. HOWELL (6TH), GRANT BALFOUR (8TH) AND
OAK - GIO GONZALEZ, JERRY BLEVINS (6TH), JOEY DEVINE
(8TH), BRAD ZIEGLER (9TH) AND KU
Aug 13 12:39 AM
AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
SACRIFICE FLY BY AKINORI IWAMURA SCORED BEN ZOBRIST.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARTLETT ON THIRD, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
OAKLAND 2 TOP, 3RD
DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.264, 0-FOR-1)
Rays 1, Athletics 2 Top 3, 0 OutsAug 12 10:48 PM
AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BOBBY CROSBY (7) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
OUT IN THE 2ND OFF SCOTT KAZMIR SCORED EMIL BROWN.
CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0, OAKLAND 2
DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: C GONZALEZ (.277, 3 HR, 19 RBI)
Rays 0, Athletics 2 Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 12 10:31 PM
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