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A’s Win Series In Tampa, Finish Road Trip With 6-4 Record

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Two of the biggest surprises from last season took each other on in a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays hosting the Oakland Athletics.

The A’s finished with a 2-5 record last season against the Rays last season. Both Oakland and Tampa Bay were two teams who performed better than expected last season, winning 97 and 90 games respectively.

They met for the first time in the 2019 season this week with a three-game series in Tampa.

Monday: Rays 6, Athletics 2

WP: Charlie Morton (8-0, 2.10 ERA), LP: Tanner Anderson (0-1, 3.18 ERA)

Anderson was solid in his 2019 debut but Morton proved to be just a bit better.

The 26-year-old pitcher for the Athletics with 5.2 innings allowing three hits with five strikeouts but allowed two runs, all of which were earned. Anderson ran into some trouble with two outs in the fifth after walking Austin Meadows to lead off the inning. Tommy Pham would ground out for the first out. Brandon Lowe would then follow with a two-run home run to put the Rays ahead 2-0. Anderson would face just one more batter before being removed from the game.

The two runs would all Morton would need, going seven innings allowing just four baserunners while striking out seven. Tampa Bay would add two in the seventh and two more in the eighth to push the lead to six. The A’s would score two in the ninth but it wouldn’t be enough as they dropped the first game of the series.

Tuesday: Athletics 4, Rays 3

WP: Mike Fiers (6-3, 4.63), LP: Emilio Pagan (1-1, 1.50), SV: Blake Treinen (15)

With the sixth inning hurting the A’s on Monday night, the sixth was friendly on Tuesday.

Down 2-1 heading into the sixth, Marcus Semien popped out for the first out of the inning with Matt Chapman following by reaching on an error. Then came the dynamite for Oakland. Matt Olson put Oakland ahead with a two-run home run that drove in Chapman. Khris Davis would follow Olson with a solo shot of his own, giving the A’s a 4-2 lead with back-to-back home runs.

Things got dicey for Treinen in the ninth, allowing a run facing five batters but he was able to get out of it, getting the A’s to .500.

Wednesday: Athletics 6, Rays 2

WP: Liam Hendricks (3-0, 1.69), LP: Adam Kolarek (2-2, 4.57)

It was the Ramon Laureano show on Wednesday as the center fielder drove in five of the A’s six runs en route to the win.

His first RBI came in the fourth inning on a single that drove in Davis to give Oakland a 1-0 lead. Olson would hit his 11th home run of the season in the top of the sixth and the Rays would get both back in the seventh.

With the game tied, Laureano collected the rest of his five RBI with one swing:

With the series win, the A’s move to 35-34 on the season and will host the Mariners in a three-game series over the weekend.