Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/1/12

OAKLAND -- Tampa Bay has found a nice little trend to try to wriggle back into the AL East race.

The Rays won three consecutive series on one road trip -- and for the first time ever, they did so against three teams above .500. Tampa Bay wrapped the final series of the trip with a 4-1 victory over the A's at the Oakland Coliseum, cooling off July's hottest team for the second game in a row.

"To beat them here, the Angels there and of course Baltimore, it's pretty spectacular," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "To win each series is about as good as it gets right now."

Alex Cobb followed up James Shields' three-hit shutout Tuesday with a strong effort on Wednesday.

"It's kind of like hitting, it's just a contagious thing," Cobb said. "You see one pitcher doing good and you want to match him. You definitely don't want to be that guy to be the weak link in the rotation. As long as we can keep feeding off each other and throw strikes, we'll be fine."

Cobb (4-6) allowed four hits, one walk and one run in his seven innings. The one run was a homer by Brandon Inge, the first homer ever by a right-handed batter off Cobb. He had not allowed a homer in 219 plate appearances against right-handers.

Inge's homer, which was hit to left field leading off the fifth, extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a team high.

"He did a great job getting strike one all day," Inge said. "All day he was jumping ahead, he was 0-2 on a lot of guys. He was making his pitching and he wasn't giving us anything we could do any damage with. He threw a lot more curveballs. He did good."

Oakland has lost consecutive games for the first time since dropping three in a row to Texas (June 28-30).

"We had a good month, we really did," A's starter Jarrod Parker said. "It's weird for it to be quiet after the game -- we're always playing music. There's not too many times after game where we're not."

Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton provided not one, but two sacrifice bunts -- his first of the season. The first helped the Rays to score their first run of the game off Oakland starter Jarrod Parker. Desmond Jennings singled to open the game, Upton moved him to second, a groundout by Ben Zobrist put him at third and Matt Joyce singled him in.

Ryan Roberts, the Rays' lone acquisition before the deadline, drove in Jeff Keppinger with a base hit in the fourth inning, while Carlos Pena provided an RBI double in the sixth. Pena, the one-time Oakland first baseman, added a solo homer to right off Jordan Norberto in the eighth inning.

Parker (7-5) gave up eight hits, three walks and three runs in six innings. The Oakland rookie had won five of his previous six decisions.

A's right fielder Josh Reddick, the team's top all-around player much of the season, went 0 for 4 to extend his hitless streak to a career-high 21 at-bats. Reddick has not recorded a hit since slamming into the wall in right field making the final out of Friday's game at Baltimore, a play that knocked the wind out of him.

Reddick said that he has had no ill effects from the collision and his slump is simply coincidental.

"Red's going through a difficult time and when it's a guy in the middle of the order, you're going to feel the effects of that," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's going through a little bit of a tough period, but he'll get through it."

NOTES: The Rays released designated hitter Hideki Matsui, who had been designated for assignment last week. ... Melvin said that right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who has been out for more than a month with shoulder soreness, will make a second rehab start for Class AAA Sacramento on Saturday. ... Left-hander Brett Anderson will make a rehab start for Sacramento on Sunday. Anderson had Tommy John surgery just over a year ago. He is expected to make at least one more rehab start after that before rejoining the A's. ... Oakland shortstop Cliff Pennington, out since July 20 with a sore left elbow, will take batting practice Thursday and will go on a rehab assignment Friday. ... A's outfielder Coco Crisp did a workout on the field and he might be available to play Thursday, according to manager Bob Melvin. Crisp came out of Saturday's game at Baltimore with left hamstring tightness and has not played since. ... Left-hander Dallas Braden, whose throwing session to hitters last week was cut short by a groin strain, played catch Wednesday and he is likely to throw off the mound again soon. Braden has been sidelined since undergoing left shoulder surgery in May 2011.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker