Of course Stephen Vogt homered. And of course the Rays came up empty in numerous opportunities to change their fortunes. Oakland finished Tampa Bay's woeful weekend with a 5-1 decision on Sunday afternoon.
Tampa Bay has lost six of seven and now trails Oakland by 2 1/2 games for the first AL Wild Card. Boston won again Sunday to extend its East lead over the Rays to 5 1/2.
Vogt was 0-for-25 in his Tampa Bay career but there he was, the lefty hitting a solo homer off Jake McGee to make the score 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the top of the seventh Tampa Bay had a batter come through, Desmond Jennings hitting a single with two outs, only to have Wil Myers thrown out at home with what would have been the tying run.
Oakland tacked on two runs in the eighth and the Rays struck out three times in the ninth.
Tampa Bay heads to Anaheim next.
"We have to be more offensive," said Rays manager Joe Maddon.
His plan to have a "bullpen day" actually worked out after Jamey Wright's poor start. Wright allowed a leadoff homer to Coco Crisp and then walked two, escaping any further damage in the first inning by getting a double play. But after Wright allowed another runner he was pulled and Alex Torres saved the day, giving up just an unearned run in 3 1/3 innings.
Tampa Bay tied it in the top of the second on James Loney's solo shot, but it was the only run the Rays could get off A.J. Griffin in his seven innings.
The Rays used seven pitchers. Josh Lueke surrendered the eighth-inning runs.