Sports

Longoria's homer leads Rays to 13 inning victory

OAKLAND, Calif. - Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer in the 13th inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays overcame two home runs by Frank Thomas to beat the Oakland Athletics 7-6 Monday night.

Eric Hinske also hit a two-run homer, and Jason Hammel (3-2) pitched three scoreless innings for the win in his first appearance since May 7 to help the Rays win for the ninth time in 12 games.

The A's have lost eight of 10, blowing an early 3-0 lead in their first game home after a 2-7 road trip that first baseman Mike Sweeney called "embarrassing." Oakland rallied to tie this game in the eighth and nearly did it again in the 13th before falling short.

Carlos Pena led off the top of the 13th win a single off Chad Gaudin (3-3), and Longoria followed with a no-doubt drive that cleared the fence so easily that left fielder Emil Brown never even moved from his position. It was the fifth homer of the season for Longoria, who is 8-for-18 his last four games following a 3-for-22 slump. Longoria also hit an RBI double in the sixth inning.

Daric Barton hit a two-out RBI triple in the bottom half before Troy Percival recovered to get Kurt Suzuki on a foul out to end it and earn his 12th save in 14 chances. Percival's 31 career saves against the A's are his most against any team.

The Rays had lost 30 of the first 36 games they had played in Oakland before Joe Maddon took over as manager before the 2006 season. Tampa Bay has won two of its past three series here and is off to a good start on its first trip to the Coliseum this season.

The A's, who led 3-0 early, came back from one-run deficits to tie the game in the sixth and eighth innings. Thomas' second homer knotted the game at 4 in the sixth and then after Akinori Iwamura's tiebreaking double in the seventh put the Rays back in front, Oakland rallied again in the eighth.

James Shields retired the first two batters of the inning and looked to be on his way to the win before hitting Jack Cust with a pitch. Maddon kept Shields in to face Thomas, even though the Big Hurt had homered twice off the right-hander earlier in the game.

Thomas got the best of this meeting as well, hitting an opposite-field single that sent pinch-runner Rajai Davis to third base. Ryan Sweeney followed with a game-tying RBI single that knocked Shields out of the game. Shields gave up five runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings, also allowing a solo homer to Brown in the second.

Thomas' first homer came in the first inning and ended the second longest homerless drought of his career. Thomas' two-run shot off Shields was his first since connecting against the A's on April 8 in Toronto, when he was still a member of the Blue Jays.

Thomas was released by Toronto less than two weeks later and returned to Oakland, where he helped the A's make it to the AL championship series in 2006.

The stretch of 102 at-bats without a home run was the second longest of his career, following only a 114 at-bat stretch that began late in the 1992 season and ended April 25, 1993.

A's starter Joe Blanton allowed four runs and six hits in six innings and remained winless in seven starts in Oakland this season.

Notes: Thomas has 33 career multihomer games. ... Shields gave up three homers after allowing just two in his first nine starts. ... Oakland closer Huston Street struck out a career-high five batters while pitching two perfect innings.

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