Rays See A's Dim Playoff Hopes Further

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ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- Khris Davis' solo home run in the top of the tenth inning broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Oakland Athletics a crucial opening win in the weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays, taking a 2-1 decision at Tropicana Field Friday.

Davis led off the top of the tenth inning against Jaime Schultz, who missed with the first two pitches of the inning and ended up putting a 94 MPH fastball over the heart of the plate, which Davis sent off the garage doors in straightaway center field for his 42 home run of the season.

Tampa Bay went with a full bullpen day Friday, with no pitcher throwing more than two innings of work.  Diego Castillo worked the first two frames, and Ryne Stanek needed nine pitches to get through the third.  However, Oakland jumped on left-hander Ryan Yarbrough in the fourth, as Matt Chapman doubled with one out in the inning, and after a fly out by Jed Lowrie and an intentional walk to Davis, Matt Olson grounded a pitch up the middle that shortstop Willy Adames could not keep in front of him and Chapman was able to make it a 1-0 game.

Oakland's lead did not last long, as Tommy Pham doubled off Athletics starter Edwin Jackson with two out in the bottom of the inning and scored on a base hit by Joey Wendle, tying the contest up.  

The Rays had a golden opportunity to break the tie in the bottom of the sixth against reliever Shawn Kelley, who allowed a leadoff infield single by Mallex Smith, followed by a bunt single to Matt Duffy.  A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance a base, but Kelley struck out Ji-Man Choi, induced a pop up from Pham, and after intentionally walking Wendle to load the bases, struck out Adames looking to end the threat.

The loss drops Tampa Bay to nine games behind Oakland for the final Wild Card spot with 16 games remaining in the season.

Saturday's Matchup

Tampa Bay Rays (80-66) vs. Oakland Athletics (90-58), 6:10 p.m. first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 4:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars.

Rays starter - RHP Ryne Stanek (2-3, 2.58 ERA)

Athletics starter - RHP Liam Hendriks (0-1, 5.94 ERA)

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