Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has plenty of respect for Jonny Gomes. He just would like him to stop haunting his former team.
Gomes and the Oakland Athletics try to wrap up this three-game series between AL wild-card frontrunners Saturday with back-to-back wins ahead of a rare Sunday off in the thick of the pennant race.
Gomes broke into the majors with the Rays, whom he played for from 2003-08. Over the course of stops in Cincinnati and Washington before arriving in Oakland this year, Gomes has proven to be a difficult out for Rays pitchers, going 10 for 29 with three homers and two doubles while hitting safely in all eight games versus Tampa Bay (70-56).
The left fielder provided the decisive blow in Oakland's 5-4 win Friday night, snapping a 3-all tie with a two-run homer in the eighth before another former Rays player - closer Grant Balfour - survived a shaky ninth for his 13th save.
The win allowed Oakland (68-57) to remain tied with Baltimore for the second wild-card s...