St. Petersburg, FL – Brandon Inge belted his first home run in an Oakland uniform and knocked in four runs overall, as the Athletics downed the Rays, 9-5, to close out a three-game set at Tropicana Field on Sunday.
Inge, who signed with the A's on April 29 after spending the last 12 seasons as a Detroit Tiger, launched a go-ahead three-run blast in the third and plated one more in the seventh.
Jonny Gomes added two hits, two RBI and two runs scored and Daric Barton also knocked in two as starter Tommy Milone (4-2) earned the victory despite allowing five runs on five hits and four walks in five innings of work.
Rays starter Matt Moore (1-2) was shelled for eight runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. B.J. Upton smacked a solo shot and Matt Joyce finished with three hits and two RBI as the Rays dropped the final two games of the series on the heels of a six-game win streak.
"Regardless of the last two games," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, "it was a great homestand with a little adversity strapped to our backs."
Milone couldn't find the strike zone in the early going, walking the first three batters he faced to load the bases before Jeff Keppinger's sacrifice fly plated Desmond Jennings for a 1-0 lead.
Luke Scott was then plunked to reload the bases and Sean Rodriguez quickly followed with an RBI single before Joyce added two more with a sharp liner into right field to make it a 4-0 contest after one.
The A's got to Moore in the third as Cliff Pennington deposited a one-out single into left field to give Oakland its first hit. After a Michael Taylor pop out, Josh Reddick walked before Yoenis Cespedes and Gomes smacked consecutive RBI singles to make it a 4-2 contest.
Oakland then jumped in front for good as Inge drilled a three-run blast over the wall in left field, giving the A's a 5-4 advantage.
"When you get down by four runs right away like we did, you're hoping it doesn't snowball," Inge said. "It could have turned into a 10-0 game. We needed to get something quick."
Oakland added to its lead in the fifth when Taylor singled to start the frame and Gomes plated him two batters later to make it a 6-4 edge.
After Moore intentionally walked Inge, Barton made him pay with a two-run double to left field, extending the margin to 8-4.
Upton's homer in the bottom half brought the Rays within three, but Oakland answered in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Inge to restore a four-run advantage for the visitors.
Oakland improved to 9-7 on the road this season...Tampa Bay is now 13-3 at Tropicana Field this year...The Athletics left seven men on base and went 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position...The Rays stranded seven as well and went 2-for-6 with men in scoring position.