by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
The Rays will probably welcome the change in the calendar.
Tampa Bay's ninth-inning rally came up short, as the Oakland A's defeated the Rays 2-1 Saturday.
Alex Cobb (8-3) went the distance for the Rays, allowing just five hits, but Oakland took advantage of their opportunities.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when former Rays Stephen Vogt led off the frame with a triple to right field, and the next batter Coco Crisp, singled him in to give the A's the lead.
Crisp added a solo home run in the eighth, his 15th of the year, that would prove to be the winning run.
Tampa Bay could not get on the scoreboard until the ninth inning, when Grant Balfour allowed a one-out double to Wil Myers, breaking an 0-for-22 slump. James Loney drew a walk before Jose Lobaton lined out for the second out of the frame. A wild pitch moved Myers to third base, but Loney did not move up on the play, which proved to be critical. Desmond Jennings then singled in Myers to cut the lead to 2-1, but pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson grounded out to first base to end the game.
The loss drops Tampa Bay now 4.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, and gives Oakland a 1.5 game lead over the Rays in the Wild Card race. They finish the month of August 11-15 after losing six of their last seven.
The Rays will look to salvage the finale Sunday, as right-hander Jamey Wright (2-2, 2.97 ERA) will make his first start since August 25, 2007, taking on A.J. Griffin. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05, with pregame coverage starting on 620 WDAE and 95.3 FM at 2:00 with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.