Home Runs Prevent Rays From Taking Division Lead

ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- The Oakland Athletics used back-to-back sixth inning home runs to finish erasing a two-run deficit, snapping the Tampa Bay Rays two-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory Tuesday at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay took the early lead as Tommy Pham took a Mike Fiers offering and sent it to the back of the seats for his ninth home run of the season, and his first since May 25.

 

The Rays manufactured a second run in the bottom of the fourth, as Willy Adames singled off Fiers with with two out, moved from first to third on a hit-and-run single by Kevin Kiermaier, and scored on a double steal.

 

But Oakland would get that run back in the fifth against Jalen Beeks, as Jurickson Profar led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored on a single from Chad Pinder.

Beeks was replaced to start the sixth by Emilio Pagan, who got Marcus Semien to pop out, but Matt Chapman reached on a throwing error by Willy Adames, and Matt Olson gave Oakland the lead for good, blasting a Pagan pitch into the front row of seats in right-center. Khris Davis then followed with a solo homer of his own, giving the Athletics a 4-2 advantage.

Willy Adames cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out single, scoring Brandon Lowe, who walked to start the frame. But Kevin Kiermaier grounded out to end the game, preventing Tampa Bay from taking sole possession of the American League East lead, as the New York Yankees split their day-night doubleheader with their crosstown rivals, the Mets.

WEDNESDAY'S MATCHUP

Tampa Bay Rays (41-25) vs. Oakland Athletics (34-34), 12:10 pm first pitch with coverage on WDAE beginning at 11:30.

Rays starter - RHP Yonny Chirinos (7-2, 2.87 ERA)

Athletics starter - LHP Brett Anderson (6-4, 3.98 ERA)

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