ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It took the Tampa Bay Rays 11 innings into the third game of the series to come through with a big hit against the Oakland Athletics. Sean Rodriguez hit a three-run home run with two out in the 11th Thursday to lift the Rays to a 5-2 victory that ended their four-game losing streak — and Oaklands five-game winning streak. "I wouldnt say it would have been the end of the world if wed have lost that one, but the morale would have been a little lower," said Alex Cobb, who pitched 6 2-3 shutout innings in his first start since April 12. "It was a huge win for us. For Roddy to go off in that fashion and deliver that to us is a big boost that is very welcome." Rodriguezs team-leading fifth homer came off Luke Gregerson after Desmond Jennings two-out single had tied it against Dan Otero (4-1). "It was obviously good to get a win after the fact that we were able to go that many innings with the pitchers throwing as well as they did," Rodriguez said. Yeonis Cespedes sacrifice fly had given the As a 2-1 lead in the top of the 11th. Cespedes also drove in the first Oakland run with an RBI double in the ninth off Rays closer Grant Balfour. Josh Lueke (1-2) got the win after one inning of relief for the Rays, who had scored only four runs during their four-game losing streak. "It was great for our guys to do that," said manager Joe Maddon. "We needed some kind of a boost all night and we were foiled in our attempts." The Athletics lost for only the second time in 13 games. "Its always nice to win a series, but when youve won two and youre ahead, not being able to close it out is a little disappointing," said As manager Bob Melvin. "But you pick up and go on to tomorrow." Yunel Escobar drove in the Rays first run with a single in the seventh off Oakland starter Sonny Gray, who pitches eight innings and reduced his league-leading earned run average to 1.99. Cobb gave up three hits and two walks while striking out six after spending 35 days on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. The right-hander tied a franchise record with his third straight scoreless start. "It felt like for a while there might not be any runs scored," Melvin said. "Youve just got to wait out the starting pitcher and try to get to the bullpen." The Rays final out in the ninth came when Jennings was caught stealing. The original call of safe was overturned by a replay challenge that took two minutes and 13 seconds. NOTES: Rays manager Joe Maddon had struggling slugger Evan Longoria hit second for the second straight game, saying he wanted the third baseman to have a "try-and-get-on-base" attitude. Longoria hit just .196 over his previous 29 games. ... OF Coco Crisp and SS Jed Lowrie returned to the As lineup simultaneously after missing games with sore necks. . . . Tampa Bay 2B Ben Zobrist said he still has some inflammation in his dislocated left thumb but hopes to return around May 30. ... Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (arthroscopic right elbow surgery) threw 34 pitches during his first batting practice session and expects to return before the All-Star break. ... Oakland LHP Scott Kazmir (5-1) will face Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (4-4) Friday night in Toronto. ... Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (3-2) and Boston RHP John Lackey (5-3) are Friday nights scheduled starters. Preston Brown Jersey
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. -- Without Carey Price, the run for a first Stanley Cup in 21 years got steeper and longer for the Montreal Canadiens.BUFFALO, N.Y. - Mike Yeo doesnt read newspapers right now and hes not perusing Twitter. If he did, the coach of the Minnesota Wild might already think hes out of a job.Instead, with his team on a six-game losing skid, Yeo is determined to ignore the chatter and focus on the task at hand.Im not going to sit around and mope and feel sorry for myself, Yeo said. Ive got a job to do, and now is when I have to do it better than ever.On Wednesday, the Wild traded a third-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, but thats no guarantee itll solve enough of Minnesotas problems to turn this season around.The issues go beyond Yeo and beyond goaltending. Zach Parise said the Wild have been fragile, and meeting after meeting wont solve whats ailing a team that went into the season with legitimate playoff aspirations.Theres been a lot of talking around here for the last, gosh, four weeks maybe, Parise said. At some point we have to start to deliver. The coaches can only do so much. As players we have to have thicker skin and hold each other accountable. Were missing that right now. Its too easy internally to not compete and its too easy for us to quit.Players have repeatedly said they havent quit on Yeo or each other. Their play over the past several weeks, including 12 losses in the last 14 games, has prompted that question.Yeo knows his job is in jeopardy, as the coach is usually the first victim of a skid like this. But his players dont want the blame placed on his shoulders.Yoezies a really good coach, said defenceman Ryan Suter, who will miss the next two games after being suspended. Hes a guy that we want to play for. Thats the disappointing thing. I dont know whats going on, we play so well and then we let in a goal or two goals and the wheels just come off.The Wilds last loss was a 7-2 thumping at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The players spent much of Wednesday afternoon at First Niagara Center going over video of mistakes from that game and others and then practised working on the basics.Its an awareness of unfortunately, this is what Minnesota Wild hockey is right now, and we have to get it back to what it was, Yeo said. Its just work. Its not about trying to embarrass anybody or trying to lift anybody up, its just recognition of where were at and what our game looks like and realizing that we need to get it back to what it needs to be.The Wild have allowed 29 goals in the past six games as theyve fallen to 12th in the Western Conference and eight points out of the secoond wild-card spot.ddddddddddddThe season appears to be slipping away.In an effort to keep that from happening, general manager Chuck Fletcher acquired Dubnyk, who represents an immediate upgrade over Darcy Kuemper and Niklas Backstrom. Dubnyk went 9-5-2 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .916 save percentage as the Coyotes backup goaltender.Dubnyk could get the reins from Yeo as soon as Thursdays game at the Buffalo Sabres. The Wild are tied with the Edmonton Oilers for the worst team save percentage in the NHL at .889.Goaltending is no doubt a concern, but Parise said the responsibility falls on everyone.Thats a position thats always magnified and the way that position works if you have an off night it unfortunately can cost you the game easily, Parise said. Theres way more that happens before the puck getting to our net that cant happen. The way were turning the puck over, the way were not tying up guys. I mean, were there but were getting outworked and outmuscled.The Wilds overall work ethic is one thing that has come into question.If we think were competing hard enough to win games right now, were kidding ourselves, winger Jason Pominville said. Wed be cheating ourselves to say that. I think our compete (level has) got to go up, thats where it starts. Obviously the goaltending is always an easy thing to point out when things arent going well, but its whats done before that in every zone.Parise said the Wild are stuck in a mindset that has contributed to their struggles.Our D-zone coverage hasnt been good enough, our neutral zone transition hasnt been good, our forecheck hasnt been good, he said. We know how to do it. Thats not a question. Weve done it, we know how to do it, we know it works. Its just right now for us its a mindset. Its not there.The lack of answers is why Yeos job has appeared to be in jeopardy. The Wild made the playoffs each of the past two seasons, and with high expectations have faltered and almost fallen out of the race with 39 games to go.Yeo said a couple of coaching colleagues around the league reached out but he doesnt expect sympathy.Its an eat or be eaten type of game, Yeo said. Thats why we cant sit around and feel sorry for ourselves, either. We know that nobodys feeling sorry for us. Why should we? Thats not going to help us in any way. We have to find a way to get out of this, and the only way is with a clear focus on the way that we need to play the game and a desperation and a work ethic that cant be matched.___Follow @SWhyno on Twitter. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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