OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Manuel Margot broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single in the eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays blanked the Oakland Athletics 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep.
Margot came up with the bases loaded and two outs against A’s reliever Zach Jackson (0-1) and served an opposite-field single to right, scoring Brett Phillips and Randy Arozarena.
Domingo Acevedo balked in another run to make it 3-0.
“I was just trying to produce,” Margot said through a translator. “I know that the previous at-bat, I had a chance to produce and I was unsuccessful. But I knew … I was a little bit more calm, a little bit more relaxed. I learned from my last at-bat and that helped me be a little more relaxed for that one at-bat.”
Phillips called Margot “the most underrated player in the league.”
“And I say that because, night in and night out, he puts together unbelievable at-bats, he plays unbelievable defense, runs the bases, great teammate. … It’s really cool to watch him,” Phillips said. “Good teams have players like him.”
Rays reliever J.P. Feyereisen (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings to earn the win. Andrew Kittredge pitched a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save.
Both starting pitchers were dominant, giving up no runs, though neither earned a decision. Corey Kluber had seven strikeouts for Tampa Bay. Oakland’s Frankie Montas fanned six.
“(Montas) was outstanding,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The good thing for us was that Kluber kind of went right with him and kept it right there. Just a really strong pitching performance by both sides.”
The Athletics finished their homestand 0-6, getting outscored 38-20. It was their first winless homestand of at least six games since 1956, when the…