By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Tampa Bay Rays had to travel across the country for a one-game playoff. And that cross country trek came out to be what they wanted.
The Rays defeated the Oakland Athletics in their Wild Card playoff winner-take-all contest. Tampa Bay won 5-1 over Oakland in the American League Wild Card game at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California.
Tampa Bay now will face the Houston Astros, beginning on Friday. Their potential five game series will begin on Oct. 4th.
With this loss, the Athletics have lost nine consecutive winner-take-all games, according to ESPN. It is the longest losing streak in MLB History — and it is tied for the longest streak by any MLB, NFL, NBA, or NHL team.
The Rays went up 5-1 in the fifth inning. Tommy Pham hit a 418-foot home run to center field for Tampa Bay to increase their lead to four runs.
The Athletics got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Ramón Laureano hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Marcus Semien scored on the play, as Oakland cut the lead to 4-1.
Yandy Díaz hit the second of his two home runs in the top of the third inning. He hit a 397-foot home run to right field to make it 4-0.
Avisaíl Garcia put the Rays up 3-0 after his two-run home run that also scored Matt Duffy in the top of the second inning. The first inning saw Díaz launch his first home run of the contest — a 386-foot long ball to right field — for the 1-0 lead.
Rays pitcher Charlie Morton received the win. He went five innings and allowed one run (0 earned runs) on five hits. He also struck out four batters and walked three.
Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea received the loss. He allowed four runs (four earned runs) on four hits over two innings, including three home runs. He also struck out five batters.