Oakland, CA – Coco Crisp went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI to back 6 2/3 scoreless innings from Sonny Gray, as the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1, in the second test of a three-game series.
Gray (2-2) gave up five hits while striking out seven for the Athletics, who are two games back of the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West.
"We're in a good position right now," Crisp said. "We just have to go out and continue to have fun."
Alex Cobb (8-3) got the start for Tampa Bay and gave up two runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking four over eight innings. The right-hander suffered his first loss since April 30 against Kansas City.
Desmond Jennings drove in the lone run for the Rays, who trail the Red Sox by 4 1/2 games in the AL East. They trail Oakland by 1 1/2 games for the AL's first Wild Card spot.
Oakland had a chance to get on the board in the first inning. Crisp singled and Josh Donaldson walked to put men on first and second with no outs. Cobb, though, settled down and recorded the final three outs of the frame.
Tampa Bay left a runner on third in the fifth. Jose Lobaton hit a one-out double and moved to third on a balk. David DeJesus grounded out to first to end the inning.
The A's broke the scoreless tie in the sixth. Stephen Vogt led off with a triple to right and raced home on Crisp's single to right-center field.
The Rays left men in scoring position in the seventh and eighth.
"The offense really needs to pick up a bit," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Crisp homered in the eighth to make it a 2-0 contest.
The A's sent Grant Balfour to the mound in the ninth. With one out, Wil Myers doubled and James Loney walked. Jennings' RBI-single to center made it a one- run game. Balfour got Sean Rodriguez to ground out to end the game.
The Rays lead the season series by a 3-2 margin ... Balfour picked up his 35th save of the season ... Tampa Bay went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine, while Oakland went 1-for-5 with RISP and left four men on.