Rays Get Slammed In Rubber Match With A's

ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays rallied from a two-run deficit to tie Wednesday's finale with the Oakland Athletics, but Ramon Laureano's eighth inning grand slam off Colin Poche broke a 2-2 tie, giving the A's a 6-2 victory in the rubber match of their three-game series.

Oakland took the lead in the top of the fourth inning against Yonny Chirinos, as Khris Davis doubled to start the inning, moving to third on a flyout by Stephen Piscotty, and after Robbie Grossman struck out, scoring on an infield single by Laureano.

Matt Olson made the deficit 2-0 in the sixth with a solo shot off Chirinos, his 11th of the year.

Tampa Bay finally chased A's starter Brett Anderson in the seventh after a one-out walk to Guillermo Heredia and a flare single from Christian Arroyo. Yandy Diaz doubled over Laureano's head in center to bring in Heredia to make it 2-1, and after Tommy pham struck out for the second out and Austin Meadows was intentionally walked to load the bases, Avisail Garcia's infield single brought in Arroyo to tie the game.

But the bullpen could not keep the game tied, as Adam Kolarek allowed a single to Matt Olson to start the inning. Chaz Roe struck out Khris Davis but walked both Stephen Piscotty and Robbie Grossman, the latter intentionally, forcing Kevin cash to bring in the rookie left-hander Poche to face Laureano looking for a strikeout. Poche jumped ahead 0-2, but the center fielder fought back to even the count before jumping on a fastball and sending it into the seats in left-center for his ninth home run of the year and his first grand slam of his career.

Lou Trivino allowed three hits in the eighth but put up a zero, and Blake Treinen worked a perfect ninth inning to give Oakland the series win.

THURSDAY'S MATCHUP

Tampa Bay Rays (41-26) vs. Los Angeles Angels (33-35), 7:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch.

Rays starter: LHP Ryan Yarbrough (5-2, 5.31 ERA)

Angels starter: LHP Tyler Skaggs (4-6, 4.97 ERA)

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