ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Sean Rodriguez hit a three-run home run with two out in the 11th inning Thursday to lift the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Rodriguez’s team-leading fifth homer came off Luke Gregerson after Desmond Jennings’ two-out single had tied it against Dan Otero (4-1).
Yeonis Cespedes’ sacrifice fly had given the A’s a 2-1 lead in the top of the 11th after tying the game with an RBI double in the ninth of Rays closer Grant Balfour.
Josh Lueke (1-2) got the win after one inning of relief for the Rays, who broke a four-game losing streak.
The Athletics lost for only the second time in 13 games.
Yunel Escobar drove in the Rays’ first run with a single in the seventh off Oakland starter Sonny Gray.
The Rays’ final out in the ninth came when Jennings was caught stealing. The original call of safe was overturned by a replay challenge that took two minutes and 13 seconds.
Alex Cobb gave up three hits and two walks while striking out six in 6 2-3 innings in his first start for the Rays since April 12. After spending 35 games on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, the right-hander tied a franchise record with his third straight scoreless start.
Gray pitched eight innings for Oakland, giving up five hits and reducing his league-leading earned run average to 1.99.
NOTES: Rays manager Joe Maddon had struggling slugger Evan Longoria hit second for the second straight game, saying he wanted the third baseman to have a “try-and-get-on-base” attitude. Longoria hit just .196 over his previous 29 games. … OF Coco Crisp and SS Jed Lowrie returned to the A’s lineup simultaneously after missing games with sore necks. . . . Tampa Bay 2B Ben Zobrist said he still has some inflammation in his dislocated left thumb but hopes to return around May 30. … Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (arthroscopic right elbow surgery) threw 34 pitches during his first batting practice session and expects to return before the All-Star break. … Oakland LHP Scott Kazmir (5-1) will face Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (4-4) Friday night in Toronto. … Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (3-2) and Boston RHP John Lackey (5-3) are Friday night’s scheduled starters.