Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Athletics 1, Tigers 0

RECOMMENDED READING


OAKLAND, Calif. — A pair of Oakland rookies, one heralded and the other a relative unknown, provided everything the Athletics needed to tie their AL Division Series with Detroit at one game apiece.

Stephen Vogt hit an RBI single in the ninth inning after rookie Sonny Gray matched zeros with Justin Verlander in a sensational playoff debut, lifting Oakland over the Tigers 1-0 on Saturday.

Yoenis Cespedes and Seth Smith hit back-to-back singles against loser Al Alburquerque to start the winning rally, then Josh Reddick was intentionally walked before Rick Porcello entered to face Vogt. He lined a single past drawn-in shortstop Jose Iglesias to win it.

The AL West champion A's had eight walkoff wins during the regular season, then did it again at the perfect time on baseball's October stage. This was Vogt's first career winning hit. It came after he lost a 10-pitch at-bat against Verlander in the seventh for his third strikeout of the night.

Former Rays reliever Grant Balfour pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the win.

Game 3 is Monday afternoon in Detroit. Right-hander Jarrod Parker, who pitched Game 1 at Comerica Park last year and lost to Verlander, goes for the A's against 14-game winner Anibal Sanchez.

Alburquerque struck out two batters in the eighth. He is still remembered for kissing the ball while recording an out in the ninth inning of a Game 2 win last October.

The A's got him this time.

Gray hung tough with a masterful Verlander in a pitchers' duel between the rookie making his 11th career start and the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner. Each calmly worked out of tough jams and set down the heart of the other's batting order.

Gray struck out nine in eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits. Verlander, who beat the A's in Games 1 and 5 of last fall's ALDS, struck out 11 more batters to give him 33 in his past three postseason outings against Oakland.

At the start of Verlander's remarkable 2011 season, Gray was finishing up at Vanderbilt before becoming the 18th overall draft pick.

Brandon Moss drew a leadoff walk in the seventh and Reddick singled two outs later with Moss beating a throw to third and Reddick advancing. That gave the A's their best scoring position of the night against Verlander, with two Tigers relievers warming.

Vogt fouled off five straight pitches, laid off a ball and fouled another before ball two. He fouled one more then struck out on a high 98-mph fastball, and Verlander marched off the mound pumping both fists.

Facing his biggest jam of the night with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth, Gray got Austin Jackson to swing on a 3-and-0 count and later struck him out. Vogt also fired the perfect throw to second base to get Jose Iglesias for an inning-ending double play.

Comments
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Updated: 6 hours ago
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17
As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

Presuming Alex Cobb declines the Rays’ one-year, $17.4-million qualifying offer by 5 p.m. today, he has pitched his last game for Tampa Bay.Cobb has received preliminary interest from "lots of teams" already, agent Dan Horwits said. The Cubs and Twin...
Published: 11/16/17