The Tampa Bay Rays lost 5-4 to the Oakland Athletics Friday night, dropping a close game when former Rays player Jonny Gomes hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning to put the A's ahead and a ninth inning rally came up short.
The game was tight until the eighth, with the two teams trading the lead all night. Tampa Bay took an early 1-0 lead in the second on a solo home run from Ben Zobrist, but Oakland scored two in the fourth. The Rays tied it at two in the bottom of the fourth on a Jeff Keppinger sacrifice fly, then added a run in the fifth on a B.J. Upton double to take the lead. The A's answered with a run to tie it at three in the seventh, then Gomes added two in the eighth and the Rays were unable to recover. They scored one in the ninth on a pinch hit double by Luke Scott, but the rally ended there.
With the loss the Rays fall 3.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East, and Tampa Bay, Oakland and Baltimore are all tied for the two Wild Card spots. Joel Peralta picks up the loss for the team, falling to 1-6. The three game series is now tied 1-1, with the rubber game scheduled for Saturday at 1:10 p.m. ET.