Last night, the Tampa Bay Rays made their first postseason appearance in 6 years as they traveled to Oakland Coliseum for a showdown in the American League Wild Card Game with the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics were looking to erase the memories of AL Wild Card losses in 2014 and 2018.
Playing in front of a rowdy record Wild Card crowd of 54,005, the Rays struck early and often. First baseman Yandy Diaz opened the scoring with a leadoff home run in just his second game back from injury. Outfielder Avisail Garcia followed with a 2-run homer in the top of the 2nd, before Diaz again went yard to right-center in the 3rd inning to give the Rays a 4-0 lead.
Oakland would get one run back off of a sacrifice RBI from Ramon Laureano but that was all the offense they would be able to muster. Rays outfielder Tommy Pham would hit the 4th Rays home run of the night, to put the finishing touches on a 5-1 win for Tampa Bay
For the A's, the postseason heartbreak continued, as they fall to 1-15 in winner-take-all games since 2000, including a now 9-game losing streak. The Rays will advance to take on the AL West Champion Houston Astros, who bost a Major League-best 107 wins. Game 1 of the series will take place on Friday.