Daniel Mengden took a shutout into the ninth inning, Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Matt Joyce each hit home runs, and the host Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 to avoid a four-game sweep Thursday.
Mengden (6-4) allowed three runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts in his eight-plus inning victory. Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run double and Mark Canha also had an RBI as the Athletics snapped a three-game skid.
Wilson Ramos had a two-run double and Christian Arroyo added an RBI double for Tampa Bay, which had won five straight.
The Rays outscored the A’s 11-3 in the first three games, including 6-0 Wednesday behind six no-hit innings from returning starter Nathan Eovaldi. Before Thursday, the Athletics had lost six of their last nine following a season-high-tying four-game winning streak.
Oakland’s Khris Davis returned to the lineup and hit fourth, going 1-for-3 with a walk, a run and a strikeout. Davis missed nine games with a groin injury.
Rays reliever Ryne Stanek (1-1) started, allowing two runs on one hit and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Ryan Yarbrough took over in the second and allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings, despite striking out nine.
Piscotty’s two-bagger in the second opened the scoring for Oakland. Davis hit a leadoff double and Chad Pinder walked to bring up Piscotty, who plated two with his liner to left field. Canha knocked an RBI single the next at-bat.
Olson’s and Chapman’s homers in the seventh and Joyce’s in the eighth sealed Tampa Bay’s fate.
Ramos’ ninth-inning double chased Mengden, who entered the inning having allowed three hits and no runs. Oakland turned to closer Blake Treinen after Arroyo’s two-out double off Josh Lucas, and Treinen induced a game-ending pop out for his 13th save.
Before the game, the Athletics optioned right-handed reliever Carlos Ramirez to Triple-A Nashville.
Tampa Bay reliever Sergio Romo (1-1, 6.33 ERA) starts Friday’s game at Seattle. Oakland right-hander Frankie Montas (1-0, 1.50) starts Friday at Kansas City.
—Field Level Media