EditorsNote: Corrects day in lede
Mallex Smith drove in the only run of the game with a two-out single in the top of the 13th inning Monday afternoon, giving the Tampa Bay Rays a 1-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a four-game series in Oakland, Calif.
In a game that began as a scoreless pitching duel between Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer and Oakland’s Trevor Cahill, the Rays managed to push across the difference-making run after Chris Hatcher (3-2), the A’s fifth pitcher, retired the first two batters he faced in the 13th.
Johnny Field kept the game-winning rally alive with an infield single, after which Jesus Sucre lined a single to center field, setting the stage for Smith’s heroics.
A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty made a leaping catch at the fence to deny C.J. Cron’s attempt to add to the lead, ending the inning, but the Tampa Bay bullpen didn’t need any additional help.
Ryne Stanek (1-0) got two outs in the last of the 13th, before Jonny Venters came on with one runner aboard to strike out Matt Olson for the final out. The save was the first for Venters since 2011.
Both starting pitchers worked out of two serious jams to keep the game scoreless.
The Rays’ Archer allowed four hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out seven.
He stranded Olson at second after a two-out double in the fourth, then faced Olson again in the sixth after Jonathan Lucroy’s single and two walks loaded the bases with one out. Archer got Olson to ground into a double play, ending the threat.
The A’s Cahill went eight innings, also allowing four hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Cahill twice allowed a two-out double with a runner at first — by Smith in the third inning and Joey Wendle in the sixth — before denying the Rays both times and stranding the two base runners on each occasion.
Sucre and Smith had two hits apiece for the Rays, who opened a nine-game trip with the 10th win in their last 14 games. They’ve won seven of their last eight on the road.
Piscotty and Jed Lowrie had two hits each for the A’s, who had a two-game winning streak snapped while falling to 3-4 on their ongoing 10-game homestand.
Both teams had seven hits.
—Field Level Media