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Rays Have Just Enough To Hold Off A's 3-2 In Series Finale

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Evan Longoria’s two-run double supported Matt Garza’s solid outing as Tampa Bay clipped Oakland, 3-2, in the finale of a four-game set.

Kelly Shoppach drove in the other run for the Rays, who won the final two tilts and have taken four of six overall. Tampa Bay remained one game behind the Yankees in the AL East.

Garza (13-7) went 7 2/3 innings for the win, scattering four hits and one run with three walks, three strikeouts, and one key balk. Joaquin Benoit recorded the final out of the eighth and Rafael Soriano allowed a run in the ninth but notched his 37th save.

Gabe Gross’ ninth-inning RBI double closed the gap to one but wasn’t enough for the Athletics, who have lost two in a row after winning four straight.

Dallas Braden (8-9) pitched well in defeat, allowing three runs on four hits over six full frames.

Longoria’s two-run double down the line in left in the sixth inning put Tampa ahead 3-1. Jason Bartlett walked and Carl Crawford singled in advance of the hit.

Garza built on that lead by sending down seven of the next eight batters he faced. Daric Barton walked with one out in the eighth, then after Mark Ellis lined out Benoit came on to strike out Jack Cust.

Soriano let up a two-out single from Landon Powell, and his pinch-runner Kurt Suzuki moved to second on indifference before coming home on Gross’ double. Cliff Pennington then fanned swinging to end the game.

Shoppach’s RBI double in the third got the Rays on the board before the A’s tied the game in the fifth on a bizarre play.

With the bases loaded and one out, Garza had stepped off the mound in an attempt to call over Shoppach and Coco Crisp at the plate. The move was called a balk, forcing in Powell.

Game Notes

Tampa Bay won five of nine from the A’s in the season series, but won just three of seven in Oakland…Prior to the game, the Athletics reinstated pitcher Andrew Bailey from the 15-day disabled list and optioned pitcher Ross Wolf to Triple-A Sacramento…The Rays head to Anaheim for three starting Monday and the A’s are in Cleveland on Tuesday.

08/22 19:09:41 ET

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.