ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jake Bauers hit a three-run homer off Jeurys Familia in the eighth inning to help the Tampa Bay Rays set back the playoff-chasing Oakland Athletics with a 7-5 win Saturday night.
Oakland remains 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top AL wild-card after New York lost to Toronto earlier in the day. The A’s have dropped two of three since winning six straight.
Bauers’ homer was just the second allowed by Familia (4-2) since he was acquired by Oakland on July 21 from the Mets. Bauers busted a 4-for-65 slump with three hits and four RBIs.
Andrew Kittredge (2-2) retired Mark Canha with the bases loaded in the eighth to preserve a 4-4 tie and win a game in which both teams used relievers as openers. Tampa Bay and Oakland have been at the forefront of that trend this season.
Sergio Romo got his 20th save despite giving up a homer to Matt Chapman in the ninth. It was Chapman’s 23rd homer.
Brandon Lowe hit a two-run homer in the second to put Tampa Bay ahead, and Jed Lowrie made it 2-1 in the third with a single off Yonny Chirinos. Chirinos then retired 10 in a row before Matt Olson tied it in the sixth with his 27th home run.
Kevin Kiermaier hit an RBI triple and scored on Bauers’ sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead in the sixth, but Canha’s pinch-hit double helped the A’s tie it at 4 in the seventh.
FOUR TEAMS WINNING 100 GAMES?
With two weeks left in the season, the A’s, Astros and Yankees could join the Red Sox as 100-win teams. Never before have three teams from the same league — or four teams from both leagues — won 100 games in the same season.
“There seems to be, at least in our league, more powerhouses this year than in the past, maybe a little less parity,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “The only thing I would really take from that is that if you went into the season and looked at those (other) three teams that might win 100 games, you almost expected them to.”
Athletics: OF Chad Pinder was in the leadoff spot after stumbling over the bullpen mound while chasing a foul ball Friday night.
Rays: Manager Kevin Cash said Romo is fine after the reliever “dinged his knee up a little bit” while working a perfect ninth inning Friday night. … INF Daniel Robertson, rehabbing after season-ending left thumb surgery, resumed taking grounders at second base and shortstop.
RHP Mike Fiers (5-0, 2.72 in seven starts since being acquired from Detroit) will pitch Sunday’s series finale against a Rays starter to be named.