St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Sogard and Sam Fuld delivered clutch singles in the sixth inning to help the Oakland Athletics to a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
Kendall Graveman (2-2) had a productive outing as the A's snapped their four- game losing skid. Graveman struck out six and surrendered three hits and two walks over six-plus scoreless innings.
"I located the fastball well, had good movement and I changed speeds when I needed to," Graveman said. "The defense played great behind me tonight so there wasn't much more I could have asked for."
Oakland, which dropped the first two of this four-game set, broke through for four runs in the sixth after countless opportunities throughout the early stages of the game.
Josh Reddick singled to start the frame and Max Muncy walked two batters later to give the A's runners at the corners with one out. Nathan Karns (3-2) got a big strikeout of Josh Phegley, and Tampa Bay elected to go to the bullpen from there.
Xavier Cedeno entered and allowed a single up the middle from Sogard that snapped an 0-for-17 string with runners in scoring position for the A's and plated Reddick for a 1-0 lead.
Mark Canha walked to load the bases and Fuld poked a single into center. Kevin Kiermaier misplayed the grounder and the Rays compounded things when Rene Rivera dropped Kiermaier's throw home as all three runners scored.
"Tough one tonight," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I thought we made the right decision bringing in (Cedeno). I liked what (Karns) did."
Billy Burns walked with the bases loaded in the eighth to make it 5-0 and Tyler Clippard followed two scoreless innings from Evan Scribner by getting out of his own jam with the bases loaded in the ninth.
Graveman allowed a two-out single to David DeJesus in the second, then retired the next seven hitters he faced before Logan Forsythe doubled to left to start the fifth. DeJesus' spot came back around and he was put on base after getting hit by a pitch. Graveman worked through, though, recording a pair of punchouts and a flyout to escape the jam.
While Graveman kept the Rays off balance over the first five innings, Oakland's offense squandered numerous scoring opportunities.
Burns singled to lead off the game and stole second with one away in the first inning. The A's left him there, however, as Reddick grounded out and Billy Butler flied out to end the inning.
Oakland had men at the corners with two outs in the second, but Fuld grounded out to second.
In the fourth, the A's received singles from Butler and Phegley around a strikeout of Muncy. Karns wiggled out of trouble by getting Sogard to pop out and Canha to line out to keep it scoreless.
Oakland went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, while Tampa Bay was unsuccessful in six chances with RISP ... The A's outhit the Rays 10-6 ... Karns allowed two runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings in the loss.