The Tampa Bay Rays overcame an early one-run deficit with a three-run third inning, then turned around and added five more runs to defeat the Oakland Athletics 8-2 Sunday at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
After falling behind 1-0 in the second, Tampa Bay wasted little time taking the lead away from left-hander Brett Anderson, as Mike Zunino drew a one-out walk, and Travis d'Arnaud followed on the next pitch with a blast to straightaway center field, his fourth home run of the season.
The conga line continued as Tommy Pham drew a walk, moved to second on a bloop single by Austin Meadows, and scored on a Avisail Garcia double for a 3-1 advantage.
The first seven hitters in the fourth all reached safely via hits against Anderson (7-5) and reliever Brian Schlitter. Joey Wendle, who finished with three hits Sunday, singled and scored on a Guillermo Heredia double. Zunino moved Heredia to third with a single to left, and d'Arnaud's RBI single, scoring the center fielder made it 5-1 and finally chased Anderson from the game. Schlitter allowed a single to Pham that loaded the bases and Meadows promptly cleared them with a double off the auxiliary scoreboard in left.
After allowing an unearned inherited run to opener Ryne Stanek's record, Ryan Yarbrough finished the seventh having allowed just one additional run on a run-scoring double by Marcus Semien, scoring Chad Pinder in the bottom of the seventh, Chaz Roe worked a perfect eighth, and Colin Poche followed suit in the ninth to finish the game.
Mike Brosseau, making his major league debut, singled his his first at-bat for his first big league debut.
Tampa Bay moves back to within 4 1/2 games of the lead in the American League East with the win and New York's 9-4 loss to the Houston Astros.
Tampa Bay Rays (45-33) at Minnesota Twins (50-27), 8:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 7:00 with The Inside Pitch.
Rays starter: LHP Blake Snell (4-6, 4.40 ERA)
Twins starter: RHP Kyle Gibson (7-4, 4.18 ERA)
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