OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Daniel Mengden allowed three runs over eight innings and the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 on Thursday to avoid a four-game sweep.
Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Matt Joyce all homered, providing some much-needed punch to an offense that had sputtered since their leading home run hitter Khris Davis went on the disabled list 10 days earlier.
Davis was activated before the game and doubled and scored as part of a three-run second inning to help Oakland end a three-game losing streak.
Joey Wendle had three hits for Tampa Bay.
A’s shortstop Chad Pinder preserved the win when he made an over-the-shoulder catch on Johnny Field‘s pop-up in the ninth. The ball bounced out of Pinder’s glove, but he caught it bare-handed for the final out.
The Rays had won five straight and outscored the A’s 11-3 through the first three games of the series before getting shut down by Mengden.
Coming off his second career shutout, Mengden (6-4) was dominant most of the game against Tampa Bay. He gave up six hits, struck out five and extended his scoreless streak to a career-high 25 innings before giving up three straight hits, including a two-run double by Wilson Ramos in the ninth.
It’s the longest scoreless streak by any A’s pitcher since former closer Sean Doolittle went 26 1/3 innings in 2014. Mengden’s run is also the best by an Oakland starting pitcher since Cory Lidle’s 32-inning streak in 2002.
Josh Lucas replaced Mengden and retired two hitters. Blake Treinen got Field to pop out to shortstop for his 13th save.
Olson and Chapman hit solo home runs in the seventh off Ryan Yarbrough. Joyce added a two-run shot in the eighth off Vidal Nuno.
Ryne Stanek (1-1) started for Tampa Bay and retired four batters in his second major league start. Stanek earned his first career win Monday in relief.
Rays: Right fielder Carlos Gomez (groin) was held out of the starting lineup. Gomez tweaked the injury legging out a triple Wednesday night. … Third baseman Matt Duffy was given the day off.
Athletics: Right-hander Santiago Casilla (shoulder strain) has been playing catch and the team expects to make a decision in the next few days when to send the veteran reliever on a rehab assignment. … RHP Carlos Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.
Rays: The team hasn’t announced who will start Friday’s series opener in Seattle, although manager Kevin Cash is leaning toward having reliever Sergio Romo go. Romo made four starts in a nine-day period from May 19-27.
Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (1-0, 1.50 ERA) makes his second start for Oakland in Kansas City on Friday. Montas set career highs for innings pitched (six) and strikeouts (seven) in his A’s debut against Arizona last Sunday.