The Rays lost 4-3 to the A’s which snapped the Rays’ five-game winning streak and knocked them out of first place in the American League East. They fell a game behind the Yankees, who beat Detroit and will spend the weekend with the woeful Mariners.
But the game could have turned out differently.
If Matt Joyce’s drive to right-center in the top of the sixth been an inch or two higher, Coco Crisp couldn’t have leaped at the wall to rob him of a two-run homer that would have put the Rays up 5-1.
It was that kind of night for the Rays (74-47), who had built a 3-1 lead in the sixth on homers by Carlos Peña and Evan Longoria off A’s All-Star Trevor Cahill and a solid outing by Andy Sonnanstine. Then they let it go to waste.
“Give us another foot in our favor, we would have been in good shape tonight,” Maddon said. “A game of inches, that fine line between winning and losing, there you go.”