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Following their series victory over the Texas Rangers, the Tampa Bay Rays traveled to Oakland to take on the A’s in a four-game series. They would end up splitting that series.

Let’s take a look at each game to see how this result happened. 

Game 1 

The Rays did not start the way they would have liked, as they fell to the A’s 4-3. 

A terrible 5th inning is what cost the Rays the game. In that inning, the A’s scored all four runs, via a RBI single and three RBI double. The Rays would make the game close the next inning with a Jose Siri three-run home run, but the A’s defense was able to hold on to the lead.

As mentioned earlier, a terrible inning is what cost the Rays. They had more hits in this game, seven to the A’s’ six. Half of those runs were given up in the 5th, with pitcher Zach Eflin struggling after initially being very solid in the innings that preceded it. The rest of the Rays’ pitching staff also did well, combining to only allow a single hit.

But because of that single inning, and the offense failing to produce one more run, the Rays would come up short in this one.

Game 2

In a game that will be talked about for a long time due to the A’s fans holding a reverse boycott, the Rays would lose in a low scoring, 2-1 game.

The Rays initially had the lead, following Manuel Margot’s RBI single in the top of the 5th. But that lead would soon disappear due to a combination of the hitting once again failing to show up and some poor pitching performances that allowed the A’s to score back-to-back runs in the 7th and 8th.

The Rays’ pitching was solid on paper, only giving up two runs and six hits. But they struggled at the end of the game by giving up untimely hits and walks which, as was mentioned earlier, was a key reason they lost the game.

For one of the best scoring teams in the MLB, this game felt like an off-night for the Rays.

Game 3

The Rays would finally earn a win in the third game, beating the A’s 6-3.

Things looked bleak for the Rays after they immediately gave up their 1-0 lead, which came from a Christian Bethancourt sacrifice fly, allowed a three-run home run in the bottom of 2nd. However, the offense would finally come through for the Rays. They scored three runs in the 5th, off of an RBI single from Josh Lowe and two RBI doubles from Margot and Yandy Diaz. They would Diaz would later hit an RBI double in the 9th to score an insurance run, but those three runs in the 5th were enough to secure the win.

The Rays starter Tyler Glasnow was a little shakey, giving up the home run in addition to five other hits, but he was able to limit the damage in the other innings he pitched. The rest of the pitching staff held down the fort perfectly, only allowing a single hit.

Thanks to their brilliant, 13-hit performance, the Rays were finally able to get a win in Oakland.

Game 4

The Rays would win the final game 4-3 to split the series with the A’s.

The Rays would initially take a 3-0 lead, thanks to an RBI single hit by Isaac Paredes and RBI double hit by Taylor Walls in the 2nd and a Margot home run in the 4th. However, the A’s would tie the game in just one inning. The game would turn into a defensive battle. The biggest highlight from this came in the bottom of the 7th when the Rays managed to not allow a single run despite loading the bases with no outs. They would capitalize on this momentum the very next inning when Luke Raley hit the game-clinching home run. 

Outside of the fifth inning, Rays starter Taj Bradley was fantastic, striking out 11 batters. The rest of the staff would go on to combine for seven more strikeouts while only giving up a single hit.

Thanks to some clutch plays on both defense and offense, the Rays were able to salvage this series.

What’s Next?

The Rays will now travel to San Diego to begin a three-game series against the Padres. Game 1 will be on Monday and Shan McClanahan will be the Rays’ starting pitcher.

Rays’ Best Player of the Series

Manuel Margot

Went a combined six-for-twelve at the plate with three RBIs.

Rays’ Best Play of the Series

Forcing a double Play in the 7th of Game 4

This would be the key to the Rays getting out of an inning in which they loaded the bases with no outs.