Oakland came into the game holding the top spot in the American League wild-card standings, 1.5 games above the second spot in the wild card, held by today's opponent, Tampa Bay.
With one month to play in the regular season, neither the A's nor the Rays count themselves out in their respective divisions. Coming into today's game, Oakland sat two games out behind American League West leaders the Texas Rangers. After the win and a Rangers' loss, the A's have now closed that deficit to one game.
Tampa Bay is now five games behind their division leaders, the Boston Red Sox.
While both teams are still very much alive in their own divisions, today's game may have provided fans a glimpse of what they may see in the postseason. It is a likely possibility that the two may face each other come October.
Oakland completed a sweep over the Rays this Sunday, having beaten Tampa Bay the previous two games this series.
The A's sent right-hander A.J. Griffin to the mound.
Griffin has struggled as of late, especially with the long ball. He currently is worst in the league with 32 home runs allowed in 2013. A James Loney home run has now run Griffin's total to 33 over the course of the season.
Griffin finished with seven complete innings, allowing only one run on five hits. Hopefully this is a good sign for Griffin and the A's pitching staff.
Tampa Bay countered with veteran Jamey Wright, who has primarily been used by the Rays as a reliever up to this point. Wright eventually departed after only 1.2 innings pitched, allowing one run on three hits.
Both Coco Crisp and James Loney went deep, each with solo shots. The A's took the lead in the bottom of the third following a Evan Longoria error and a Brandon Moss RBI single. A Stephen Vogt home run also gave Oakland some insurance late into the game.
A's defeat the Rays 5-1.
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise stated.
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