The Angels have their rally monkey. Now the A's might have their own rally mascot -- a possum.

When the A's rallied to beat Tampa Bay 3-2 in 10 innings Monday night, the winning hit by Derek Norris came shortly after a possum was spotted running along the outfield warning track.

"I thought it was a really large rat, which would fit perfectly with the ways things have kind of shaped up the last few years," said Norris, obviously referring to some of the sewage problems at the Oakland Coliseum.

Norris' seeing-eye single to center ended a frustrating night for the A's, who left the bases loaded three times and stranded 18 runners -- that's right, 18 runners, almost two runners per inning.

A's starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who probably thought he was back with the Cubs after watching his Oakland teammates fail time and again in the clutch, said he's seen the possum before.

"He's been out before," said Samardzija, who's only been with the team for a month. "He was out when we were warming up before a few times" said Samardzija, who's only been with the team since July 4. "We're going to have to give him a name or give him a jersey."

Hey, whatever works. The victory allowed the A's, who have the best record in baseball, to maintain their one game lead in the A.L West over the Angels, who have baseball's second-best record.

And a monkey.



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