Hinske's hits, homer lead Rays over A's, 3-2
OAKLAND, Calif. - Eric Hinske had three hits, including a home run, and Ben Zobrist doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Carlos Pena hit a home run for the first-place Rays, who maintained their three-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Rays have won four of five and 10 of 14
Eric Patterson, who was recalled from Sacramento earlier Wednesday, drove in two runs for the A's, who fell to 7-22 since trading Rich Harden to the Chicago Cubs. Patterson was part of the trade.
Mark Ellis and Bobby Crosby both had two hits for the A's, who were seven games over .500 and 3 1/2 behind the Red Sox in the wild card race when Harden was moved.
Andy Sonnanstine (12-6) beat an AL West team for the first time in five decisions, and won his second straight following a three-game losing streak as the Rays have spent all but two days in first place since June 28.
Sonnanstine lasted six innings, allowing two runs and six hits with a walk and six strikeouts, one shy of his season high. He's given up five runs in his last 19 1-3 innings (2.33 ERA) after allowing 14 in his previous 19 innings.
Sonnanstine became the quickest pitcher to 12 wins (119th game) in Rays history.
Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler both pitched a scoreless inning and Troy Percival worked the ninth for his 27th save in 30 chances. It was his 34th career save against the A's, his most against any team.
Justin Duchscherer (10-8) lost his third straight decision and remains winless in his last six starts. He gave up three runs and six hits with a walk and a career-high eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.
Duchscherer gave up two home runs in a game for the third time, and allowed only his 10th and 11th of the season. He allowed more than two earned runs in consecutive games for the first time.