The Oakland Athletics picked up another big win with potential playoff implications on Saturday. The A's outplayed the Tampa Bay Rays thanks mostly to a big first inning in the 4-2 victory. With the win, they also took the series from their possible playoff rivals.
The A's scored their first run on a delayed double steal with runners at the corners on the first inning. In what may have actually been a missed hit-and-run, Seth Smith struck out swinging as Stephen Drew broke for second base. Jose Lobaton heaved his throw into center field, allowing Coco Crisp to score and Drew to take third. The next batter, Chris Carter, drove the first pitch he saw from Jeremy Hellickson into the left-field bleachers for a quick 3-0 Oakland lead.
That would end up being all the run support that Brandon McCarthy would need, as he held the Rays to just two runs on four hits and two walks in seven innings, striking out seven batters along the way. Lobaton got the Rays on the board in the bottom of the second with a sacrifice fly, but Smith got that run right back for the A's as he led off the third inning with his 12th home run of the season. Desmond Jennings added a solo run for the Rays, but Tampa Bay was unable to get any closer.
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