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Rays 3, Athletics 4: Emilio Pagan falters against former team

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It had to happen at some point, right?

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Though the Rays woke up this morning in sole possession of first place in the American League East, they entered the game in a tie with the Yankees, thanks to their matinee rout of the crosstown rival Mets, the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

But the Rays can only control what they can control, and tonight they sent Ryne Stanek for his 19th open of the season:

After allowing a leadoff double to Marcus Semien, Stanek bore down to get the next three batters, including a 100 mph fastball to sit down Matt Olson. Those were the only three outs that were asked of Stanek.

In the bottom of the first, Tommy Pham struck off A’s starter Mike FIers:

Jalen Beeks took over in the second, and brought with him his own interesting statistic:

Beeks cruised for his first three innings, and the Rays added another on a double steal featuring Kevin Kiermaier and Willy Adames:

The A’s answered with one of their own in the top of the fifth, the lone run they scored off of Beeks in his four innings of work.

Emilio Pagan was the next pitcher called upon to hold the Rays’ lead against his former team. It wouldn’t be a great reunion, though, as he would surrender two home runs, and the lead. Pagan pitched the seventh as well, this time a scoreless inning.

[It’s worth noting here that while Beeks was pitching well, he’s averaged under four innings in his last six outings. With the top of the A’s order coming up, a one run lead, and Pagan ready to go, I feel it was the right call]

Oliver Drake and Diego Castillo exchanged scoreless innings with the A’s bullpen tandem of Liam Hendriks and Lou Trivino, but things got just a little interesting in the ninth, as the Rays came within one on a single by Adames that scored Brandon Lowe, who got on base with a leadoff walk.

It wasn’t enough, however, as Kiermaier grounded to first for the game’s final out. Since the Yankees fell to the Mets in their second game of the aforementioned doubleheader, the Rays remain in first place, albeit tied.

The two clubs are set to play the rubber match tomorrow at 12:10.