ST. PETERSBURG (CBS / AP) — David Price struck out 12 over eight strong innings and Jose Molina hit his first homer of the season to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to their sixth straight win, 7-2 over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
The Rays, who are a major league-best 19-8, improved to 13-1 at home and won for the 12th time in 13 games overall.
Price (5-1) threw just 106 pitches while allowing an earned run, three hits and a walk. He is the second AL pitcher to win five games this season, joining teammate James Shields, who got his fifth victory Wednesday.
Price also struck out each A’s starter once, including Cuban rookie Yoenis Cespedes twice.
Tyson Ross (1-2) had his second straight rough outing, giving up seven runs on nine hits in 3 1-3 innings. Less than a week ago, Ross gave up nine runs on 11 hits against Baltimore.
Molina hit a two-run homer in the Rays’ four-run fourth, while B.J. Upton added back-to-back RBI doubles in the third and fourth innings and also scored twice.
Luke Scott also hit a two-run double in the third to give him a team-high 21 RBIs.
The A’s took a brief 1-0 lead in the second inning when former Ray Johnny Gomes doubled and then scored on a double by Kurt Suzuki. Cliff Pennington added a solo homer off reliever Brandon Gomes in the ninth.
Joel Peralta picked up his second save this season when he came on in the ninth to get the Rays out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam after Gomes gave up a single, a hit batter and a walk.
Despite the Rays missing star third baseman Evan Longoria, who is out up to two months with a partial torn hamstring, Tampa Bay has been nearly unbeatable at Tropicana Field, where they extended their home winning streak to 10 — one shy of club record set in 2008.
The last time Tampa Bay lost at home was April 12 to Detroit.
Notes: A’s OF Coco Crisp was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an inner-ear infection. The move is retroactive to May 3. Oakland recalled OF Michael Taylor from Triple-A affiliate Sacramento to replace Crisp. Taylor started in LF on Friday. . A hit by Seattle C Jesus Montero in Wednesday’s game was changed to an error by Rays SS Sean Rodriguez. As a result, Shields’ ERA drops from 3.70 to 3.05. . Upton returned to the lineup Friday after sitting out a game due to tightness in his right quad. . The Rays promoted OF Josh Sale from extended spring training to Single-A Bowling Green. … Rays manager Joe Maddon used a lineup selected by the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. . Maddon will manage his 1,000th game for the Rays on Saturday. He’s 514-485. The Rays won 518 games before Maddon took over in 2006. … Maddon on New York closer Mariano Rivera’s injury: “I think he’s the player most responsible for their success over the last 15 years. . I hope he doesn’t go out like that.” . Friday’s announced attendance was 18,799.
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