Homers power Rays to victory over A's

Homers power Rays to victory over A's

ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria's three-run homer led the Rays to a 5-2 win over the A's on Friday night at Tropicana Field.

Longoria rerouted a 1-2 Scott Kazmir fastball into the left-field stands with two aboard for his fifth home run of the season.

Steven Souza Jr. and Tim Beckham padded the lead with solo home runs in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, to give the Rays a 5-1 advantage.

"The offense has been good," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We're not too concerned with just getting a bunch of hits, we just need to get the hits when they're important and at the right time. Today, Longo's was huge."

Earlier in the game, Stephen Vogt broke a scoreless tie against his former team with a solo home run off Chris Archer in the fourth inning. Ironically, the hit was just Vogt's second in 13 games played at Tropicana Field.

Vogt of confidence: Vogt's fourth-inning blast off Archer was his team-leading 10th roundtripper of the season. The A's catcher, who had gone 1-for-12 on the Athletics' road trip prior to the at-bat, now has six home runs and 16 RBIs in May, the highest single-month totals of his Major League career.

Vogt's solo home run

"Stephen has had a terrific year to this point. No question. You look at his production numbers [.309 batting average, 10 homers, 31 RBIs] and they're right up there with the league leaders," said A's manager Bob Melvin. More >

Setting the table: Brandon Guyer opened the Rays' fifth with a single to left. The struggling Souza followed with a sacrifice bunt that saw first baseman Max Muncy mishandle the toss. Muncy's error allowed Guyer to reach third and Souza to be safe at first. Longoria then delivered the difference-maker with a three-run homer.

Guyer reaches third on error

Stranding pat: The Athletics' struggles with runners in scoring position continued on Friday night. Vogt struck out with men on second and third to end the first inning, Billy Butler fanned with men on first and second to close out the third, and Billy Burns was unable to score in the fifth after stealing second base with nobody out. The A's loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Sam Fuld struck out and Burns flied to center to end the threat. Brett Lawrie stole second with one out in the eighth but could not score. Butler managed to plate Eric Sogard from third in the ninth inning with a sacrifice fly, but the A's went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position on the night, and are now 25-for-142 (.176) over their past 16 games.

Butler's sac fly

"That's where we're struggling right now. We talked about it yesterday, that we were really good for the better part of the season up until the past several games. We're not getting guys on base, and we're not getting big hits," said Melvin.

Gomes cooling it: Archer allowed singles to Vogt and Lawrie to start the sixth. One out later, pinch-hitter Marcus Semien drew a walk to chase Archer and prompt Cash to signal for dependable Brandon Gomes. Once again, the right-hander delivered by first striking out Fuld, then finishing off the inning by retiring Burns on a lineout to center. More >

Gomes ends bases-loaded threat

"I left it all out there. I did my best, and the team picked me up." -- Archer, on his start

Archer strikes out eight

According to Statcast™, Beckham's homer went 453 feet, and there had only been 17 homers in the Majors that had traveled as far entering Friday night's action.

Beckham's solo homer

Beckham was optioned to Triple-A Durham after Friday night's game. More >

Athletics: Kendall Graveman (1-2, 8.27 ERA) will take the ball when the Athletics resume their four-game series with the Rays on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET (1:10 PT) at Tropicana Field. The 24-year-old right-hander has made four starts for the A's this season, allowing 15 earned runs and 24 hits in 16 1/3 innings of work. Graveman's best performance of the season -- and first career victory -- came in an April start against Houston, when he threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 4-0 Athletics win.

Rays: Nate Karns (3-1, 3.77) will start after getting skipped in his last start Tuesday in Atlanta. The right-hander had no physical problems; the Rays simply wanted to take advantage of Monday's off-day to reset the rotation and give Karns a little extra rest. Karns has won his past three decisions.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Troy Provost-Heron is an associate 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.