Cabrera homers, delivers big hit in 9th to sink A's
By Trevor Hass and Jane Lee
OAKLAND -- Asdrubal Cabrera homered and drove in the winning runs of a 5-4 Rays victory over the A's with a two-run double in the ninth inning at the Coliseum on Saturday evening.
Tampa Bay trailed by one run entering the ninth against switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, who issued a one-out walk to Daniel Nava and gave up a double to Logan Forsythe, setting the stage for Cabrera's game-changing hit off lefty Drew Pomeranz. The Rays were 0-49 when trailing after eight innings entering the day.
"Good, now we're 1-49," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "This was a big game. They're all big games now going forward."
The late rally took away a win from Sonny Gray, who remains the American League ERA leader (2.10) after allowing three runs -- on solo homers from Forsythe, John Jaso and Cabrera -- across eight innings. Battery mate Josh Phegley homered and doubled, finishing with three RBIs for the A's.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Unsafe at home:Josh Reddick, who reached first base on catcher interference with two outs in the first, was waved home by third-base coach Mike Gallego on Mark Canha's double down the left-field line -- an aggressive call that didn't end well for the A's, who watched Reddick get tagged out at the plate on a relay throw home from Cabrera.
"I think he was trying to be aggressive there," Melvin said of Gallego. "I thought maybe he thought it was a little farther down the line. I was watching the relay come in and didn't see when he sent him, but they made a couple good throws to get him."
Fighting back: The Rays trailed 4-3 entering the ninth, but rallied to take the lead thanks to a two-run RBI double from Cabrera. Cabrera shot the ball down the right-field line, and pinch-runner Tim Beckham and Forsythe came around to score and give the Rays a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Cabrera has been on a hot stretch and is now batting .405 since returning from the disabled list July 28. Alex Colome pitched two perfect innings in relief, needing just 20 pitches to mow down the A's in the eighth and ninth.
"Alex Colome looked outstanding," Cash said, "building confidence by the pitch, by the outing, so good for him. Just a good ballgame. We needed that one."
Phegley delivers:Phegley wasn't even supposed to be in Saturday's lineup until Danny Valencia was taken out with right hamstring soreness, leading manager Bob Melvin to use Stephen Vogt at designated hitter rather than behind the plate, where Phegley assumed duties. The catcher responded with a pair of run-scoring hits, including his go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth -- his seventh of the season.
Trio of dingers: Forsythe's homer came in the second inning and was his 14th of the season. Jaso's towering blast in the third was his second of the year, after he hit 12 combined homers in his previous two seasons with the A's. Cabrera's shot sliced the A's lead to 4-3 in the seventh.
"We had a pretty decent plan against Sonny," Forsythe said. "His stuff's always good. I think we just got some balls up in the air on him. They just kind of got in that jet stream and got out."
Loney was ejected in the sixth inning after protesting a called third strike from home-umpire Paul Nauert. Loney bumped Nauert and screamed at him before he was restrained. More >
"Sometimes people just get bored and want to stir up something," Loney said.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 3-02) will pitch for Tampa at 4:05 p.m ET on Sunday, coming off an outing in which he yielded one run in six innings to the Astros. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 0.91 ERA in five starts against American League West opponents this season.
A's: Right-hander Kendall Graveman, who is 0-5 with a 6.89 ERA over his last seven starts, will look to get back on track in the 1:05 p.m. PT finale against the Rays. Graveman was the winning pitcher in his only career appearance against Tampa on May 23, a six-inning scoreless outing in which he allowed just three hits.
Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.