Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays down A's

ST. PETERSBURG — Evan Longoria said the pregame players-only meeting Friday wasn't of "dire need."

But after a rough first few weeks, filled with bad breaks and tough losses, Longoria and catcher Jose Molina spearheaded a short gathering.

Players were complimented for what they were doing right and told not to panic and to stay patient.

"It was basically, 'We're 16 games in,' " Longoria said. "Just trust the work that we've put in."

And after the Rays responded with an 8-3 victory over the red-hot A's in front of 15,115 at Tropicana Field, they're hoping it's a sign of good things to come.

Tampa Bay (6-10) isn't a finished product, but buoyed by a strong start by right-hander Alex Cobb, a resurgent offense and more sparkling defense, closer Fernando Rodney got to shoot his trademark imaginary arrow after starting a 1-2-3 double play to end the game.

"I still think we're searching for an identity as a group," manager Joe Maddon said. "But I like what we're doing right now. I think it's on the horizon."

Maddon said the Rays, who arrived about 3 a.m. from Baltimore after a 2-7, three-city road trip, could have said, "Here we go again," after trailing by two runs in the first. But Tampa Bay bounced back with a four-run rally, including their first bases-loaded hit of the season.

Ben Zobrist had one of his two RBI singles, but DH Shelley Duncan said Sean Rodriguez had the biggest hit of the game, keeping the inning alive by going from a 1-and-2 count to 3-and-2 and ripping a two-out, RBI single.

"That gave us some momentum," Duncan said.

Jose Lobaton followed with a two-run single, ending the Rays' season-opening 0-for-12 stretch with the bases loaded. Longoria added a two-run homer in the Rays' three-run fourth, his fourth homer of the season.

"It was a great game to kind of open the floodgates and score some runs," Longoria said. "And prove to ourselves that we can put up runs offensively."

The eight runs matched the Rays' highest output of the season (April 3 against Baltimore), and they went 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

That was more than enough for Cobb, who settled in after his rough first to throw five straight scoreless innings.

Maddon said his team still has to do some things better, but "it's all about confidence and believing."

"It only matters where you're at at the end of the season," Longoria said. "We'll figure out a way to right the ship so to speak and get back on track. And (Friday) was a good start."

Rays down A's 04/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 20, 2013 9:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …