St. Petersburg, FL – Jeremy Hellickson prevailed in a pitching duel with Oakland's Jarrod Parker, as the Tampa Bay Rays came away with a 1-0 win over the Athletics in the middle test of a three-game series.
Hellickson (1-1) scattered three hits, all singles, walked one and struck out six over seven strong innings.
Tampa Bay has won back-to-back games for only the second time this season.
Parker (0-3) allowed only a Matt Joyce home run and five other hits in a season-high 6 1/3 innings. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings in each of his previous two outings.
"I think he looked confident after he got rolling. He used all his pitches and I think he's getting on a roll and getting his confidence going," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Parker.
Joyce led off the second with a line drive over the right-field wall.
"For us to go out and score one run, and have the pitching staff to hold them to nothing is outstanding," Joyce said.
The Rays looked to extend their lead, but Parker pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth by getting Ben Zobrist on a grounder to first.
Joel Peralta retired the A's in order in the eighth, but a defensive misplay left the door ajar for Oakland in the ninth.
With one out, second baseman Ryan Roberts dropped Coco Crisp's pop-up as he backpedaled in shallow right field. Fernando Rodney, however, fanned John Jaso and got Seth Smith to hit into a game-ending grounder to notch his second save.
Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria went 1-for-3. He has reached base in all 17 contests this year. Only two players in franchise history have recorded longer streaks to begin a season - Rocco Baldelli with 24 in 2003 and Jorge Cantu with 20 in 2005 ... Oakland didn't have a runner reach second base.