Travis d’Arnaud contributed a key hit to each of two big early uprisings and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough pitched six strong innings Sunday, allowing the visiting Tampa Bay Rays to earn a split of their four-game series against the Oakland Athletics with an 8-2 victory.
Avisail Garcia and Joey Wendle collected three hits apiece while Austin Meadows matched d’Arnaud with three RBIs, helping the Rays win for just the second time in seven games on their 10-game trip.
After the A’s had taken a 1-0 lead in the second on a Rays error, the visitors grabbed the lead for good in the third off Oakland starter Brett Anderson (7-5). With one out, Mike Zunino walked and d’Arnaud belted his fourth home run of the season.
The Rays tacked on a third run in the inning on an RBI double by Garcia, then busted the game open with a five-run fourth that ended Anderson’s day.
A single by Wendle and RBI double by Guillermo Heredia plated Tampa Bay’s first run of the fourth, after which Zunino and d’Arnaud singled, the latter making it 5-1.
Anderson was replaced at that point by right-hander Brian Schlitter, who in his A’s debut served up a single to Tommy Pham and a three-run double to Meadows to make it a five-run inning and 8-1 game.
Anderson, who pitched a 6-2 win at Tampa Bay last week, was charged with seven runs on nine hits in his three-plus innings. He walked two and did not strike out a batter.
Yarbrough (6-3) came on one batter into the second inning, replacing “opener” Ryne Stanek. He allowed just one run on five hits in his six innings, striking out three and walking none.
Marcus Semien drove in Oakland’s only run off Yarbrough with a seventh-inning double.
Zunino, d’Arnaud and Pham all scored twice for the Rays, who alternated wins and losses with the A’s in the four-game series.
The first three games of the set had all been decided by one or two runs.
Chad Pinder went 3-for-4 for the A’s, who despite the loss won the season series 4-3 from Tampa Bay.
The loss completed a 6-4 homestand for Oakland.
—Field Level Media