ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Joyce homered and Jeremy Hellickson pitched seven shutout innings as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Oakland A's 1-0 Saturday at Tropicana Field.
Hellickson struck out six and allowed only three singles as he nailed down his first win to even his record at 1-1. He retired 10 Oakland batters in a row before yielding to Joel Peralta to start the eighth inning.
Peralta pitched a one-two-three inning before Fernando Rodney finished off the A's for his second save of the season.
The win was only the second time this season that the Rays (7-10) have won back-to-back games.
Jarrod Parker took the loss for Oakland (12-6) but he deserved better, striking out a season-high five and allowing only six hits. It was the second time in four starts at the A's failed to get a run for Parker, as his record for the season dropped to 0-3.
Joyce's second home run of the season to lead off the bottom of second inning was a line-drive blast to right-center field that came on a 3-and-2. It was the first home run by Joyce since he ended a game against Baltimore on April 3 with a walk-off homer.
The Rays left the bases loaded in the fifth when Ben Zobrist grounded out to first base.
Through five innings, Hellickson struck out five and allowed only three singles, but no Oakland player had made it as far as second base.
A base-running error by A's second baseman Eric Sogard led to a rare unassisted double play by an outfielder when Sogard, on first base with an infield single, took off running with one out on a shallow fly to center field by Coco Crisp. Desmond Jennings easily ran down the popup and continued on to tag first base to complete the double play and end the third inning.
The play marked the first time in Tampa Bay Ray history that an outfielder completed an unassisted double play, and Jennings became the first center fielder in the major leagues to complete an unassisted double play at first base since Nyjer Morgan of the Pittsburgh Pirates did it on Sept. 26, 2007.
NOTES: The A's entered Saturday's game with the second-best record in the American League at 12-5. Only Boston (12-4) had a better record. ... The A's were 84-43 (.661) dating to last June 2, which is the best record in the majors by 4 1/2 games and the best in the American League by 7 1/2 games. ... The loss on Friday was the first loss of the season for the A's on the road. They were previously 6-0.