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(Monday, July 30th)
Final Score: Oakland 4, Tampa Bay 3 (15 innings)
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Jemile Weeks' sacrifice fly in the 15th inning led the Oakland Athletics to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game set.
Brandon Inge led off the frame with a single off of Kyle Farnsworth (0-3) and moved to second on a sac bunt from Kurt Suzuki. Seth Smith was then issued an intentional pass and Eric Sogard worked a walk before Weeks lifted a fly ball to right-center that was caught, but Igne easily beat the throw home for the win.
Brandon Hicks hit a solo home run while Chris Carter and Suzuki each drove in a run for the Athletics, who moved to 19-4 in July.
Jordan Norberto (3-1) got the win for pitching a scoreless 15th for Oakland, which clinched the best month of July in the history of the team.
Carlos Pena drove in two runs while Matt Joyce had a solo homer for the Rays, who had won their previous two games.
Both starters had nearly identical numbers as both went seven innings and gave up three runs on five hits with two walks. However, Tampa starter David Price struck out 11 while Oakland's A.J. Griffin struck out six.
"It wasn't really and exciting baseball game except the pitching was fantastic on both sides," said Rays manager Joe Maddon.
The A's struck first in the game with a pair of runs in the second inning. Yoenis Cespedes led off with a single and scored on Carter's double. Two batters later, Suzuki doubled home Carter for a 2-0 lead.
The Rays got both back in the fourth when Pena doubled home Jeff Keppinger and Joyce, who reached base on a fielder's choice and walk, respectively.
In the sixth, the Rays took the lead as Joyce homered with two outs, his 12th of the year.
Oakland, though, tied the game in the seventh when Hicks smacked a pitch off the scoreboard, his third home run of the year.
Tampa left the go-ahead run on second base in the top of the ninth while the A's left them loaded in the bottom to send the game to extras.
Oakland again loaded the bases in the 10th, but Suzuki struck out swinging to end the frame and Josh Reddick struck out with men on first and second to finish the 11th inning.
Tampa put its first two batters on base to start the 14th inning, but came away empty as Brooks Conrad looked at strike three and both Ryan Roberts and Pena flied out to end the inning.
The Rays again threatened in the 15th as they got two men on with one out, but B.J. Upton popped out and Ben Zobrist grounded out.
"Absolutely it is (frustrating), especially because they had all the chances and did not score," said Maddon. "You think at some point you're just gonna find a way to get it done."
The Rays had not given up a run in 24 innings, tying the team record set from May 8-11, 2008...Rays pitchers set a team record for strikeouts in a game with 21...The Rays played a 15-inning game against Miami on June 16 that was also a loss...This was the longest game of the season for Oakland, surpassing a 14-inning win over the White Sox on April 25...Oakland took two of three in Tampa in early May..
07/31 03:46:13 ET
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