Alex Cobb handed first loss since April as Rays fall to A’s

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Coco Crisp had three hits, including a home run, and drove in two runs, Sonny Gray threw 6 2-3 stellar innings, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Saturday night.

Gray (2-2) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven and the A’s won their fifth in six games to remain two games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West.

James Loney had two hits for the Rays, who fell for the sixth time in seven games and fell 4 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

The A’s and Rays are the top two teams in the AL wild-card race.

Alex Cobb (8-3) lost for the first time since April 30 despite allowing two runs and five hits. He walked four and struck out seven.

Grant Balfour pitched the ninth, giving up an RBI single to Desmond Jennings, for his 35th save in 37 chances.

Gray retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced, striking out five of the first six.

Cobb set down 12 in a row after giving up a single and walk to the first two hitters he faced. He had five strikeouts in the first two innings.

Stephen Vogt hit his first career triple leading off the sixth. Crisp followed with a sharp single up the middle against a drawn-in infield.

Matt Joyce led off the seventh with a single but was erased on Wil Myers’ double play grounder. When Loney followed with a single, Sean Doolitte replaced Gray, who received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd.

Doolittle got three outs and Dan Otero struck out Evan Longoria with a runner at second to end the eighth.

NOTES: The Rays brought OF Delmon Young, RHP Josh Lueke and C Chris Gimenez to Oakland and will activate the trio on Sunday, when rosters expand. … Rays OF Luke Scott (back spasms) was evaluated before the game and cleared to play Sunday. … RHP Jeremy Hellickson threw a bullpen session and reported no problems. He’ll be activated on Tuesday.. … The Rays failed to score at least 100 runs in a month for the first time since July 2009. … RHP A.J. Griffin (11-9, 3.94) goes for the A’s in Sunday’s finale. He’s allowed a major league-leading 32 home runs. … A’s C John Jaso (concussion) has been playing catch and running. … A’s opening day starter LHP Brett Anderson was “probably” available out of the bullpen for the game. … A’s OF Josh Reddick wore a Georgia football helmet and jersey for pre-game drills. … Vogt hit 20 triples in the minors.