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)

Tampa Bay Rays rally from five runs down to beat Oakland A's 10-8

OAKLAND, Calif. — Evidence had been mounting the past week or so that the Rays had given up their chance to get back to the playoffs. And, depending on the degree of their difficulties as they dropped nine of their previous 12 and 7½ games in the standings, maybe they had just given up.

Thursday, down five runs after a brutal first inning by pitcher Wade Davis and without a hit of their own into the fifth, seemed to be a defining moment.

Instead, it turned out to be what they claim is a definitive sign they remain alive, coming back and hanging on for an odd 10-8 victory over the A's.

"We've had a bad week in a sense," manager Joe Maddon said. "The players have not quit. Our guys don't quit. We've had some real misfortune, bad luck. Baseball luck sometimes works against you. Over 162 games you'd like to think it comes back to you. It only comes back to you if you keep working."

The effort, which improved them to 54-50 and moved them within 10 ½ games of first place in the AL East and within eight of the wild card, was impressive. Davis rebounded to retire 17 straight in working through the sixth, and the hitters delivered a season-high seven-run explosion in the seventh.

"I never want to have that feeling of just folding up the tent and giving up, and I know nobody else in here does," said third baseman Evan Longoria, who had a solo homer in the seventh.

"I think as long as we all stay positive and we all stay on the same page, we're going to get through this. When you have a couple of guys, or even one guy, that starts to think negatively and kind of packs it in, it's cancerous in the clubhouse. I think nobody's got to that point yet. And I think everybody still believes."

Davis couldn't get anything by the A's in his 47-pitch first inning, allowing six straight hits, including a "natural" cycle of single, double, triple, homer to four straight batters. "You didn't really have time to breath," he said.

But, after Longoria promised him they'd get the runs back, Davis took a deep breath, "toned it down a little" and was untouchable the rest of his day, allowing nary another baserunner.

"It felt like he invented a pitch, to tell you the truth," Oakland first baseman Conor Jackson said.

Said Davis: "It's not exactly how you want to win a game, especially from a pitcher's standpoint, but it's a good win for us."

Rays rookie outfielder Desmond Jennings, with multiple hits for the fifth time in six games since his promotion, was the catalyst.

First, with a massive two-run homer to left, his first in the majors, to get the Rays on the board. "There's home runs," Maddon said, "and then there's home runs like that that indicate somebody's raw power."

Then, after the Rays had scored one in the seventh, and walks by pinch-hitter Sam Fuld loaded the bases (which Maddon considered the key) and Sean Rodriguez forced in another, Jennings singled to right to end the team's 0-for-12 string with the bases loaded. That knocked in two runs and put the Rays up 6-5.

Jennings got the ball in exchange for a bat from the fan who caught his homer, but he said the single was more rewarding: "I'll take those two ribbies."

Maddon said it was unfair and disappointing for the subject of quitting to even be raised.

"I think if our guys have proven anything over the years is that we don't do that," he said. "So maybe we've had a bad week. Maybe your kid didn't have a good week at school. Maybe you forgot to turn in a report at work and all of a sudden your boss doesn't like you for a day or two.

"But that doesn't mean you're bad all of a sudden or that you've quit. You just might have screwed up. It comes under the umbrella of being human."

Rays 10

A's 8

Tampa Bay Rays rally from five runs down to beat Oakland A's 10-8 07/28/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bryan Harper's path to the majors, where his brother is a star, has been bumpy

    The Heater

    He has thrown 215 professional innings over 168 minor-league outings, and at various points the kid from Las Vegas has called Viera and Hagerstown, Md., and Harrisburg, Pa. and Syracuse, N.Y., and even Arlington, Va. home. During that summer he lived in the D.C. suburbs, he would rise some mornings with his brother in …

  2. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  3. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

    RAMOS EXITS: Rays catcher Wilson Ramos clutches his head after being beaned by Ruben Tejada’s broken bat in the fifth inning. Ramos leaves the game and receives six staples to close a laceration on his head.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    LHP Blake Snell stepped up when the Rays needed him to — and perhaps when he had to to keep his job — working a season-high seven plus innings. And it wasn't only that he got deep into the game, but how he did so, using his fastball to pound the strike zone.