OAKLAND, Calif. -- Catcher Kurt Suzuki celebrated his Oakland homecoming in style on Friday night, hitting a three-run homer and lifting the A's to a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Suzuki played in O.co Coliseum for the first time since returning to the A's on Aug. 23 in a trade with the Washington Nationals. That trade came just over a year after the A's traded Suzuki to the Nationals.
Suzuki's first homer since his return gave the A's a 3-1 lead in the fifth. He drilled David Price's first-pitch change-up over the left-field fence.|
The Ray scored twice in the top of the eighth to pull even at 3, but the A's answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. Coco Crisp lined a leadoff single to center off Price, ending his night. Crisp went to second on a hit-and-run as Josh Donaldson, facing right-hander Joel Peralta, grounded out to second. Jed Lowrie brought Crisp home with a double to right field, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.
Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth for his 34th save, one day after suffering his second blown save of the season against Detroit.
Parker allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking three. He got a no-decision but still made history. Parker is 8-0 in his past 17 starts, and his 17-game unbeaten streak is tied for the longest in Oakland history, matching Catfish Hunter's streak from June 2 to Sept. 3, 1973. Parker hasn't lost since May 22 at Texas.
Price (8-6) took the loss, allowing four runs -- three earned -- and six hits in seven innings. Coming into the game, he had gone 7-1 with a 1.97 ERA in 11 starts since he was activated after spending time on the disabled list with a strained left triceps.
The A's pulled to within two games of first-place Texas in the American League West, and the Rays fell 3 1/2 games behind first-place Boston in the AL East. In the AL wild-card race, the A's jumped a half- game over Tampa Bay for the top spot.
The A's spotted Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but Suzuki gave the A's a 3-1 lead in the fifth.
In the top of the eighth, DeJesus lined a leadoff single to right and moved to second when Parker walked Ben Zobrist. That was it for Parker, who gave way to right-hander Ryan Cook. Evan Longoria blooped a single to right, loading the bases and snapping his 0-for-18 skid.
Matt Joyce cut Oakland's lead to 3-2 with a sacrifice fly to left, driving in DeJesus. Then James Loney, in a 10-pitch at-bat, lined an RBI double to left center that a diving Chris Young nearly snagged. Cook escaped without further damage, striking out Desmond Jennings and Kelly Johnson and stranding runners at second and third.
The Rays grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Jennings worked a one-out walk against Parker, then stole his 18th base of the season. After walking Kelly Johnson, Parker retired Jose Molina on a fly ball to center field, but No. 9 hitter Yunel Escobar lined an RBI single to center, bringing Jennings home.
The A's struck for three runs in fifth, taking a 3-1 lead on Suzuki's three-run blast off Price. Leading off, Alberto Callaspo hit a ground ball to second baseman Ben Zobrist and wound up at second after Zobrist airmailed his throw to first for a two-base error. The error snapped Zobrist's 81-game errorless streak, a Rays franchise record for second basemen.
After walking Chris Young, Price struck out Brandon Moss looking, but Suzuki sent his first pitch over the left-field wall.
NOTES: Rays RHP Brandon Gomes was recalled Friday from Triple-A Durham. To clear a spot on the 25-man roster for Gomes, the Rays optioned RHP Jake Odorizzi to Double-A Montgomery. ... Rays LHP Matt Moore (left elbow soreness) will be activated from the disabled list Sunday when rosters are expanded and will return to the rotation at some point during the Rays' four-game series at Anaheim, which begins Monday night, Rays manager Joe Maddon said. The most likely target dates are Tuesday or Wednesday. Moore rejoined his Rays teammates Friday in Oakland. ... Oakland C Derek Norris (fractured left big toe) will begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Sacramento, which will open a three-game series at Tacoma. ... A's RF Josh Reddick (sprained right wrist) had a cortisone injection on Wednesday and was wearing a splint on his injured wrist on Friday. He went on the DL on Aug. 26 and is eligible to be activated on Sept. 10. "Hopefully, that helps him out," A's manager Bob Melvin said of the injection. ... OF Delmon Young will be called up to the Rays on Sunday from Double-A Montgomery, and DH Luke Scott (lower back spasms) will be activated from the DL on Sunday when rosters expand, Maddon said.