Road trip starts poorly as Rays edged by Oakland
AUG 31, 2013 1:18a ET
Who could blame this club for being downright beat?
First, a cross-country flight from Florida, then an alternate route to the ballpark that pushed two hours because of a Bay Area bridge closure.
David Price spent $202 on a regrettable cab ride, then was dealt his first defeat in seven weeks in a 4-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Friday night. Also, Ben Zobrist committed his first error in 82 games, ending a Rays record.
And reliever Fernando Rodney got stuck in the dugout bathroom for about 15 minutes before someone took a bat to the door to save him.
"It was a bad day all round," Price said.
Perhaps the worst for Rodney, who handled his predicament as well as can be imagined.
"They got two runs when I was locked inside," Rodney said. "They broke the lock. It was hot inside. I can only hear the crowd but can't see game. So I don't know what's going on. I let them know and tried getting a key but couldn't. I kept yelling, `Get me out!'"
Kurt Suzuki hit three-run homer in his first home game back with the A's since being traded away last August, and Jed Lowrie hit a go-ahead double in the eighth inning after the Rays had tied it in the top half on James Loney's double.
Lowrie extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his Oakland-record 13th double in August, off Joel Peralta.
Jarrod Parker dueled with Price to run his unbeaten streak to 17 straight starts, matching Catfish Hunter's Oakland record set from June 2-Sept. 3, 1973. The A's pulled within two games of the first-place Texas Rangers in the AL West, and moved ahead of Tampa Bay in the wild card.
Price (8-6) had his five-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time in nine starts since July 12 against Houston.
With the Bay Bridge closed all weekend, the Rays' team bus left San Francisco at 2 p.m. Friday and didn't arrive to the Coliseum until 3:45. Price opted to take a cab and it cost him big bucks, then he tweeted he would take a helicopter Saturday.
Manager Joe Maddon plans to take the BART train -- and many of the Rays left on it after Friday's game.
The day got stranger when Rodney got stuck in the bathroom.
"It was a kind of a fun moment," Maddon said. "We kind of rallied then -- we should have kept him in there. A lot of the commotion in the dugout in the eighth inning and part of the rally was someone beating on the door. Finally someone broke the door knob with a bat to get him out. I don't even know who the hero was getting him out. I say he was in there a solid 15 minutes."
Parker received a couple of early pep talks from Suzuki, who later delivered with the timely home run, which he said "for it to be off a pitcher like Price, who's arguably one of the best pitchers in the game right now, was pretty neat."
Oakland beat the Rays for the first time after being swept in Florida from April 19-21. Tampa Bay outscored the reigning AL West champions 17-4 in that series.
Yunel Escobar hit an RBI single and Matt Joyce a sacrifice fly as the Rays kicked off a stretch with 13 of 16 games on the road.
Second baseman Zobrist had his Rays record 81-game errorless streak end on a wild throw in the fifth. His previous error came May 11 against San Diego.
"It was my error, no question. David gets the walk and then the home run. I don't think he walks Chris Young at that point unless there's that error's made," Zobrist said. "He was just breezing until that point. I just threw it a little bit too hard and too high. It's kind of a bummer that it cost us something today and it always breaks my streak."
The Rays ended a 14-inning stretch without a run when they scored in the second, but they are 0-for California in four tries this year after dropping three at Dodger Stadium.
NOTES: The Rays recalled RHP Brandon Gomes from Triple-A Durham and optioned RHP Jake Odorizzi to Double-A Montgomery. ... Rays LHP Matt Moore (left elbow soreness) allowed eight hits and four earned runs in four innings of his first rehab outing Thursday night for Triple-A Durham at Gwinnett (Ga.) He is set to start in Anaheim either Tuesday or Wednesday and expects to have a pitch count of 90-100. "I'm happy how my arm felt," Moore said. "I'm warming up a little slower with my changeup. It really felt good to get back out there."... Maddon is yet to announce his Sunday starter, but did say likely Sunday additions that day will be: OF Delmon Young, DH Luke Scott, and C Chris Gimenez.
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