OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Andy Sonnanstine learned a few things from his previous outings against Oakland. The most important lesson was trusting himself.
Eric Hinske had three hits, including a home run, and Ben Zobrist doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Athletics 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Sonnanstine (12-6) beat an AL West team for the first time in five decisions, and won his second straight following a three-game losing streak as the Rays have spent all but two days in first place in the AL East since June 28.
"I didn't feel sharp the last time I pitched here," said Sonnanstine, who lost his two previous starts against the A's. "I wanted to be aggressive and stay aggressive. That really worked out. I feel like if I stick to my game plan it sets me up for success."
Sonnanstine lasted six innings, allowing two runs and six hits with a walk and six strikeouts, one shy of his season high. He's given up five runs in his last 19 1/3 innings (2.33 ERA) after allowing 14 in his previous 19 innings.
"Sony had really good stuff," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "His last two outings are as good as I've seen him in a long time. He's always been a winner."
Sonnanstine became the quickest pitcher to 12 wins (119th game) in Rays history.
"We just keep on playing," Pena said. "It's important to focus on the present. This is a young team but we've behaved maturely and it happened naturally. We're able to handle things."
"We had first and third, nobody out, and don't score," A's manager Bob Geren said. "That's a big blow. We tried to force some contact there and push a run across and that's about it. It's difficult to win when you're not getting enough runs."
Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler both pitched a scoreless inning and Troy Percival worked the ninth for his 27th save in 30 chances. It was his 34th career save against the A's, his most against any team.
Justin Duchscherer (10-8) lost his third straight decision and remains winless in his last six starts. He gave up three runs and six hits with a walk and a career-high eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.
"Sometimes you make pitches and they just beat you," Duchscherer said. "Two solo home runs I didn't feel like it was going to beat me. I battled through it got into the seventh and had a little bit of an unfortunate bounce on the last hitter and that ended up costing us the game."
Duchscherer gave up two home runs in a game for the third time, and allowed only his 10th and 11th of the season. He allowed more than two earned runs in consecutive games for the first time.
A's 1B Mike Sweeney (knee surgery) took part in pregame activities for the second straight day. ... A's OF Ryan Sweeney went on the DL with a sprained right thumb. ... The Rays are 32-0 when Percival enters a game in a save situation. ... Roland Arrojo recorded his 12th win in the Rays' 135th game in 1998. ... The A's have scored four or fewer runs in each of their last 15 games, a team record. ... Ellis is a career .345 hitter against the Rays, his best mark against any AL team.
Michael Pineda was on hand to meet Minnesota Twins fans on Saturday, though fans must wait to see him pitch as the former Yankee still recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Mets fan Gary Dunaier, aka "Thumbs-Down Guy," surprised Todd Frazier as the two met for the first time and chatted at an autograph signing Saturday on Long Island.
Ahead of the NFC Championship, members of the Minnesota Twins show support for the Vikings by doing a "Skol" chant.
Roy Halladay had evidence of several drugs in his system when he died in a plane crash off the Gulf of Mexico in November, an autopsy showed. There is yet to be an identified cause for the crash.
Pitcher Dillon Gee has agreed to a $1.7 million, one-year contract with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan's Central League, a deal that includes an additional $300,000 in performance bonuses.
Outfielder Randal Grichuk has been traded to the Blue Jays from the Cardinals. Earlier this week, Grichuk expressed disappointment that he would be fourth or fifth in the pecking order for the Cardinals this season.