Oakland A’s take two from Tampa Bay Rays in weekend series

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: Sean Manaea #55 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Houston Astros at RingCentral Coliseum on April 04, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: Sean Manaea #55 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Houston Astros at RingCentral Coliseum on April 04, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

The Oakland A’s (21-15) won the weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays behind a no-hit bid from Sean Manaea and other incredible pitching performances.

Game 1: Oakland A’s 2, Tampa Bay 1

The Oakland A’s took game one 2-1 of the weekend series behind Manaea, who worked a perfect game into the top of the seventh, and late inning heroics from Seth Brown

Manaea pitched masterfully throughout six innings in his bid for a perfect game having punched out nine. It was not until the top of the seventh that Tampa Bay got a runner on base. With a strikeout and two groundouts, Manaea quickly bounced back as he held onto a no-hitter.

In the bottom of the seventh, a one out double from Jed Lowrie followed by a single from Brown gave Oakland the 1-0 lead. With another single from Elvis Andrus, the A’s looked for more, but did not further capitalize in the inning.

With a leadoff double followed by a single, not only did Manaea lose his no hitter— he lost the lead as Tampa Bay tied it 1-1. Manaea was pulled with a10 K’s in the game as Yusmeiro Petit kept the game tied in a relief appearance.

It was the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at 1-1 with two outs when Brown stepped into the box.  The first pitch, an 82-mile-per-hour slider-fouled off, next pitch was a ball, the third slider hurtled toward the plate when Brown swung and drove it over the wall to win the game 2-1 for Oakland.

Game 2: Oakland A’s 6, Tampa Bay 3

Oakland used an early lead to fend off Tampa Bay in game two as the A’s took the series with a 6-3 win Saturday.

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With a leadoff walk from Mark Canha in the bottom of the first and another homer from Brown, the A’s established a quick lead over Tampa Bay 2-0.

The Athletics pestered Tyler Glasnow more when Oakland added another run in the bottom of the second via an Austin Allen solo homer that made it 3-0.

Frankie Montas kept the Rays at bay as he kept them out of scoring position through five innings of work while collecting six strikeouts in the process. But in the top of the sixth Montas slightly unraveled as a leadoff double and a two-run homer got the Rays back in the game 3-2. Petit made another relief appearance, and got out of the inning with the Oakland lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Oakland scored another run with a two-out single from Brown that made it 4-2 as he collected his fifth RBI of the series. Tampa Bay responded in the top of the eighth with a run that cut it down to 4-3 in a tightly contested game. But Oakland broke away in the bottom of the eighth as a two-out double from Tony Kemp sparked a rally that resulted in two runs and a 6-3 lead, which was the eventual final.

Game 3: Tampa Bay 4, Oakland A’s 3

Oakland dropped the finale on Sunday as the rays surged ahead late in the game to win 4-3 and prevent the sweep.

In the bottom of the fourth the Athletics rallied with two outs as a Matt Chapman single and walk from Brown set up a run-scoring opportunity. Stephen Piscotty singled in a run that gave the A’s an early lead before Mitch Moreland singled home two more to swell the lead to 3-0.

Tampa Bay proceeded to rally off three runs themselves in the top of the fifth. A fielding error followed by a double gave the Rays runners on second and third with no outs. The next batter flied out, but the next launched a three-run homer that tied the game 3-3 before the inning was over.

Tampa Bay added another run in the top of the sixth behind a solo homer to claim a 4-3 lead, wich was the final in game three as Tampa Bay salvaged a game from the weekend series.

While the no-hit bid by Manaea on Friday was incredible, another noteworthy player was Brown who went 4-for-9 over the weekend with five RBI and three runs scored.

Oakland heads to Boston to face the Redsox in a three-game midweek series before another away series against the Minnesota Twins over the weekend.

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