OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Over four games, the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics played about as even as it can get — knowing full well they could meet again in a matter of a few months come playoff time.
Travis d’Arnaud drove in three runs and hit a two-run homer, Austin Meadows hit a three-run double, and the Rays beat the A’s 8-2 on Sunday for a split of the four-game series.
Ryan Yarbrough (6-3) followed Tampa Bay’s opener to pitch six innings. The lefty allowed one run on five hits and struck out three.
D’Arnaud’s fourth homer of the year came in the third to put the Rays ahead then he helped them add on in a five-run fourth with an RBI single that chased A’s starter Brett Anderson (7-5).
“Really his first clunker,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Anderson got through a 1-2-3 first on six pitches then didn’t have another easy inning. A double play helped him avoid damage ending the second.
The left-hander could tell early on it might be a tough day.
“It’s frustrating from my end we could have taken the series from a team that’s ahead of us in the standings and a quality ballclub,” Anderson said. “That’s as bad as my stuff and command and everything can be.”
Marcus Semien hit an RBI double for the lone A’s earned run on a picture-perfect Bay Area afternoon with a first-pitch temperature of 80 degrees.
Tampa Bay opener Ryne Stanek struck out the side all swinging in the first allowing a walk to Matt Chapman and Khris Davis’ single.
Manager Kevin Cash then turned to Yarbrough after a leadoff walk to Mark Canha in the second. Three batters later, Josh Phegley singled and shortstop Willy Adames threw wildly past first as the A’s went ahead with an unearned run.
The Rays didn’t trail for long. They came out swinging on the way to 15 hits — seven straight in the fourth, one off the franchise record done against the A’s on May 31, 2002 — for a nice finish to a grueling stretch with 21 games in 20 days since June 4 and 34 games in as many days.
“We’ve been banged up and we haven’t played well. We needed to play well,” Cash said. “We’re going to go into an off day feeling a little bit better but we’ve still got work to do. Today certainly helps.”
Tampa Bay pitchers ended a streak of allowing a home run in eight straight games.
Melvin flip-flopped his two slugging Matts in the batting order, with Matt Olson hitting second for the first time all season and Chapman third.
Chapman went 0 for 2 with a walk and had his nine-game hitting streak snapped before his day was done after six innings to get some rest.
RAYS DEBUT DAY
Rays third baseman Mike Brosseau made his major league debut, going 1 for 5 with a pair of strikeouts batting fifth. He singled on a 2-1 count for his first hit during his initial at-bat in the second.
Rays: Tampa Bay placed RHP Diego Castillo on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. The Rays recalled RHP Hunter Wood from Triple-A Durham.
Athletics: Closer Blake Treinen went on the 10-day IL retroactive to Friday with a strained right shoulder. Oakland selected RHP Brian Schlitter from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... LHP Sean Manaea, who had been set to throw again Tuesday, is being shut down for now after his right side began bothering him when he threw a simulated game Thursday in Arizona, something he said, “I don’t think is anything, just some tightness.” ″It’s not the arm, which is good,” Melvin said. “It’s something that’s just bothering me a little bit,” Manaea said. “Just precautionary stuff.” ... LHP prospect Jesus Luzardo — working back from a strained pitching shoulder — struck out five, allowing two runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday and will progress in building his pitch count the next time out to about 75 pitches. ... RHP Jharel Cotton, who injured his right hamstring coming back from Tommy John surgery, will throw another bullpen session Tuesday. He is sprinting every other day, too. “I’m back on track,” Cotton said.
After the much-deserved off day, LHP Blake Snell (4-6, 4.40 ERA) starts for the Rays at Minnesota on Tuesday night coming off the shortest outing of his career — tagged for six runs in one-third of an inning last Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
RHP Chris Bassitt (4-3, 3.64) starts for the A’s when they open an interleague series Tuesday at St. Louis. He will face the Cardinals for the first time and seeks his first career hit after going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts so far.