A’s 4, RAYS 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Carlos Pena. Pena had 2 hits (should have been 3) and a walk, including his 5th home run of the season…Brandon Gomes. It was very nearly a disaster. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases in the 10th. And then Brandon Inge nearly leaned into a pitch, just missing being hit. But then Gomes came back and struck out Inge and then got a groundball to first base to get out of the jam. He then went 1-2-3 in the 11th.
THE BAD: Jeremy Hellickson. Hellboy lasted just 3.2 innings, the shortest start of his career…An Old Friend-Turned-Foe…It sure looked like Carlos Pena had led off the bottom of the 10th with a double. But then Jonny Gomes did the inexplicable, making a great running grab at the fence. And then in the 12th, it was Gomes that hit his 32nd career home run at The Trop, giving the A’s the lead for good…Matt Joyce. If the manager gives you a green light, that doesn’t mean swing at anything. The hitter should look for HIS pitch in HIS power zone. Instead, with one out in the bottom of the 12th and a 3-0 count, Joyce swung at a cutter away and hit a weak groundball to short that became a game-ending 6-4-3.
THE TELLING: The Rays had the leadoff hitter on base in the bottom of the 9th, 11th, and 12th, and failed to score each time. When Sean Rodriguez led off the 11th with a double, the Rays had a 79.5% chance of winning the game…Last night was Joe Maddon’s 1000th game with the Rays.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Brandon Gomes reward for 2 scoreless innings is a demotion to AAA. Of course, this is more about the bullpen being overtaxed and Gomes won’t be available today because he worked 2 innings yesterday. Cesar Ramos has been called up to fill the open spot.
- Joe Maddon talks about having BJ Upton hit second. [TBO.com]
- The Rays are one of the best teams in baseball and they are doing it the old-fashioned way. [ESPN]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Norfolk 3, DURHAM 0 (2). Game suspended in the third inning.