Rays Ride Strong Pitching to 5-1 AL Wild Card Win

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton. Photo by Peter Joneleit/CSM/Shutterstock (10413645e)

The Tampa Bay Rays took care of business at the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday night, beating the A’s by a 5-1 final score to earn a date with the Houston Astros in the AL Division Series.

Tampa Bay went on the road and beat the A’s on the backs of strong pitching performances from starter Charlie Morton as well their relief core and a barrage of home runs.

It didn’t take long for the Rays to take a lead, as leadoff man Yandy Diaz hit a solo shot to lead off the game off of A’s starter Sean Manaea.

Rays starter Charlie Morton, who pitched five innings, allowing zero earned runs and striking out five, got two more runs of support in the next inning when Avisail Garcia hit Tampa’s second home run of the game, a two-run blast off of Manaea.

Diaz then tagged Manaea with another solo shot in the 3rd, his second of the night, to give Morton and the Rays a 4-0 lead.

Tommy Pham hit Tampa Bay’s fourth and final homer of the night in the fifth inning.

The A’s pushed across a run after an error and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning, but ultimately couldn’t put together any more offense for the rest of the night.

Tampa will now have the chance to take on the MLB’s strongest regular season team, the Houston Astros, in the AL Divsion Series.