Rays alone in 1st place with shutout of A's

Rays alone in 1st place with shutout of A's

ST. PETERSBURG -- David DeJesus provided most of the offense and the Rays' pitching did its part in a 3-0 win over the A's on Thursday night with a crowd of 10,605 watching at Tropicana Field.

The Rays grabbed sole possession of first place in the American League East by a half-game over the idle Yankees. It's the first time Tampa Bay has been alone in first since April 12, 2014.

DeJesus' two-out double in the fourth off Jesse Chavez scored Evan Longoria to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. DeJesus added a solo home run off Chavez in the seventh to put the Rays up, 2-0. Brandon Guyer manufactured the Rays' third run when he followed DeJesus' homer with a single and promptly stole second and third before scoring when Bobby Wilson lined a ball off A's reliever Edward Mujica's right thumb. Mujica had to leave the game after throwing out Wilson at first, and postgame X-rays revealed a minor fracture.

Wilson plates Guyer

"I really liked Brandon Guyer, what he did," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Kind of creating havoc by stealing and then getting over there and stealing the next pitch. Great jump on the ball Bobby hit. A lot of good things tonight."

Alex Colome started for the Rays and pitched five scoreless innings before Steve Geltz, Kevin Jepsen, Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger covered the final four innings.

Boxberger notches the save

Chavez allowed three runs on five hits in six-plus innings but came away with his fourth loss of the season.

Stranding room only: The Athletics, who went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position in Wednesday's loss to Houston, continued to struggle in the clutch against the Rays. After going 0-for-3 in the first inning with Billy Burns on third courtesy of a leadoff triple, the A's loaded the bases with two out in the fourth, only to have Sam Fuld ground to first to end the threat. They also stranded Josh Reddick at third in the ninth. Over their past 15 games, the A's are batting .191 (25-for-131) with RISP after batting .310 through 28 games. More >

"We just need to relax," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "Pitchers get nervous too with runners in scoring position, but that's not something you're thinking about when you're struggling as a team in that situation. ... This is a really good team that's going through a really rough patch right now."

Burns' leadoff triple

First-inning escape: Burns tripled off Colome to lead off the game but surprisingly did not score. Marcus Semien batted after Burns and flied out to center field. Kevin Kiermaier made the catch and seemed to be conceding the run, only Burns didn't tag. Reddick then grounded out to first and Billy Butler to third, giving Colome a pretty nice escape to his credit.

A's manager Bob Melvin said Burns left third early on the flyout, so he went back to tag up, which prevented him from trying to score on the play. "He was obviously very apologetic," Melvin said of Burns. "He didn't mean to do it but just took off too early, and once he realized he did that, he had to go back and didn't think he could have made it."

Colome rebounds: Colome rebounded nicely from his previous two starts against the Yankees and Twins when he went 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA -- including four home runs. The right-hander allowed only four hits and a walk while striking out three. More >

Colome's five scoreless innings

Getting defensive The much-maligned Athletics' defense turned in a pair of gems. With two out in the third inning, third baseman Brett Lawrie dove to his left to corral a sizzling one-hopper off the bat of Wilson, then threw out the Rays' catcher with a strong throw to first. In the fifth, second baseman Eric Sogard sprinted into shallow right field then dove with his back to the plate to rob leadoff hitter Nick Franklin of a hit.

Sogard robs Franklin

"There are times we make really good defensive plays. There are a lot of errors that go along with it, but we have very athletic guys," Melvin said. "Whether it's in the outfield, in the infield, we do make good plays. That's the most frustrating part about the number of errors that we make, is that we have athletic guys."

Lawrie's diving stop

"I'm feeling good. I'm just getting pitches and not trying to do too much with it." -- DeJesus, on his approach More >

DeJesus on his performance

Athletics:Scott Kazmir (2-2, 3.08 ERA) will take the ball when the Athletics resume their four-game series with the Rays on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET (4:10 PT) at Tropicana Field. The 31-year-old lefty is coming off a difficult start against the White Sox on Sunday, when he lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits.

Rays: Chris Archer (4-4, 2.47 ERA) makes the start for Tampa Bay. He has pitched back-to-back quality starts against the Yankees and Twins, allowing three earned runs in 13 innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.