The Oakland Athletics took their 6-game win streak into tonight’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays. The A’s quest for seven took place in front of the most vocal fans in recent history. Tonight’s “Reverse Boycott” has created an old-time energy in the Coliseum.
Opener Jalen Beeks got the start for the AL East leading Rays. Beeks, a lefty hurler, who is starting his eighth game of 2023 is 2-3 with a 6.06 ERA. He faced A’s opener Shintaro Fujinami. Fuji is 3-6 with a 10.80 ERA. While his season started in a disastrous way, Fujinami has pitched considerably better in recent history.
The chants of “Sell the Team” alternated with the traditional “Let’s Go Oakland” and bellowed through the stadium filled with 27,759 fans who came to be heard: both in support of their guys in kelly green & gold, and with clear anger toward the team ownership.
Brent Rooker got things started with a base hit to center field. With one out Ryan Noda singled to center. Both runners moved up on a passed ball (or wild pitch—check). But Ramon Laureano struck out and Jonah Bride grounded out to end the inning.
Lefty Hogan Harris replaced Shintaro Fujinami after a clean first inning by Fuji. Harris who has pitched 15 innings in his major league career entered the game 1-0 with a 6.32 ERA. By the end of the second, both starting pitchers were finished for the night.
With no outs in the top of the fifth inning, Jose Siri doubled to get things started for the Rays. Before Manuel Margot drove Siri in for the first run of the night for either team, the crowd came alive, chanting loudly to the point that Harris could not hear through his PitchCom device. After a quick mound visit by the home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott and battery-mate Shea Langeliers they managed to get on the same page.
Esteury Ruiz reached on catcher’s interference but was thrown out for the seventh time this year attempting to steal second (although the video replay looked to show him beating the tag). Rooker followed with a walk and Ryan Noda singled, moving Rooker to third. But a Laureano ground out ended the rally. At the end of five, the Rays held the lead 1-0.
Jace Peterson led off the seventh inning with a walk. Two unproductive outs left Peterson on first until Brent Rooker doubled into the left field corner scoring him from first without a play. At the end of the seventh, the score was 1-1.
Ramon Laureano singled to lead off the eighth inning. Jonah Bride sacrificed him to second. Carlos Perez pinch hit for Seth Brown. Laureano stole third, his eighth of the season putting the go-ahead run just 90 feet from home. Perez hit a hard grounder to third baseman Isaac Paredes who knocked it down but only had a play at first, scoring Laureano. Heading to the top of the ninth inning the A’s led the Rays 2-1.
Trevor May replaced Harris in the top of the ninth. With one out, Randy Arozarena walked on four pitches, but a great throw by Shea Langeliers nabbed Arozarena trying to steal second for the second out of the inning. Langeliers leads all major league baseball with 19 runners caught stealing. With nearly all fans on their feet, May struck out Jose Siri swinging to end the game and bring the A’s win streak to seven straight. Harris earned his second victory of the season and May his third save.