OAKLAND -- The A's scored seven runs in a mammoth seventh inning Sunday, running away with an 8-2, come-from-behind win over the Rays and avoiding a three-game sweep at the Coliseum.
The Rays surged in front, 2-1, in the top of the seventh, scoring two runs off Sean Doolittle in the lefty's first appearance since May 27. But the A's were far from done, as eight straight batters reached base. Eric Sogard's two-run single gave the A's the lead for good, and Mark Canha's bases-clearing triple extend the lead to 7-2.
"The numbers might not totally reflect how resilient this team is," Doolittle said. "They've come back a lot this year. Sometimes they haven't always been able to take it all the way back to get the win, but to a man they fight."
A's starter Kendall Graveman limited the Rays to three hits in six shutout innings. He left the game at 84 pitches due to a left oblique strain, and A's manager Bob Melvin said Graveman could be out for "a little while."
The A's have now won six of eight games at home, while the Rays couldn't pick up their fourth straight win to end their 10-game road trip.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cruise controlled: Despite pretty much cruising through the first six innings, Rays starter Jake Odorizzi was pulled from the game in the seventh after a leadoff walk to Danny Valencia, his 94th pitch. Steve Geltz entered and didn't have his best stuff, as the A's scored four runs off the reliever. Valencia's run was credited to Odorizzi, who had allowed three hits and one run through the first six frames. More >
"I didn't have control for the first batter, which happens," Odorizzi said. "It was just unfortunate timing really. We had just got the lead. The walk got more attention than it would have if it was earlier in the game. I just didn't have control for the first batter, but I was hoping to lock it in for Vogt [the next batter]."
Seven in the seventh: The A's had scored six runs all series before the seventh, when they blew the game open with a string of timely hits. Brett Lawrie drove home Valencia with a single up the middle, but Stephen Vogt was thrown out at the plate. At that point, the decision to send Vogt seemed costly in a 2-2 game, but the A's kept rolling. Sogard singled, Canha tripled and Valencia singled home Canha, and the A's ran away with the win.
"That was fun," Vogt said. "We haven't really had offensive fun like that in a while."
Rocky return: Doolittle gave up two runs on one hit and two walks in his first game with the A's in close to three months. Desmond Jennings hit a sacrifice fly, and Rene Rivera singled off Fernando Rodriguez, as Doolittle was charged with both runs and threw 23 pitches (12 strikes) while only retiring two batters. More >
"When you're visualizing it over the rehab process of several months you see it going a little bit differently," Doolittle said. "Overall, mechanically, and the way the ball was coming out I was happy with how I felt."
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Graveman has not yielded a run in two starts (12 innings) against Tampa this season.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays: The Rays take a day off before opening a six-game homestand at 7:10 p.m. ET Tuesday against Minnesota and then face Kansas City, their final American League Central opponents this year. The Rays have won the last five season series vs. the Twins.
A's The A's travel to Seattle for a three-game set against the Mariners with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. PT Monday. Felix Doubront (1-1, 3.89) takes the mound for Oakland, coming off an outing in which he yielded one run in six innings in a no-decision against the Dodgers on Tuesday. .