OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Pinch-hitter Carlos Pérez broke a tie with an RBI groundout in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Tuesday night in front of a spirited crowd at the Coliseum.
The A’s drew a season-high attendance of 27,759 as Oakland fans held a “reverse boycott” to protest the team’s planned move to Las Vegas.
It was a playoff-like atmosphere for the A's season-high seventh straight victory, with the crowd repeatedly chanting “Sell the team!” and “Stay in Oakland!”
“Tonight was as close to a playoff crowd as I think I’ve experienced managing a game," Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “The energy, the atmosphere was everything that this stadium can be."
Fans also shouted their anger at team owner John Fisher throughout the night and some threw cups and bottles onto the field after the game ended.
“If you want to use the word ‘anger,’ it wasn’t directed at the players,” Kotsay said. “We felt the energy on the fans’ side supporting us passionately. You could feel them just wanting us to win that game and their will, I think, came across with our guys.”
Many arrived hours before first pitch to tailgate in the parking lot, with the first 7,000 receiving fan-funded “SELL” shirts made by local company Oaklandish.
“It was cool,” A's designated hitter Brent Rooker said. “It was really, really fun. We had a good time playing. ... They came out and they made it very clear how passionate they were about this city and this team, which was cool to see, and we fed off that energy all night.”
With the game tied at 1, Ramón Laureano singled off Colin Poche (4-2) to lead off the eighth inning. Laureano advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jonah Bride and then stole third.
Pérez hit for Seth Brown and sent a sharp grounder to third, off the glove of a diving Isaac Paredes, who recovered to throw Pérez out at first, but Laureano scored the go-ahead run.
Rooker had an RBI double in the seventh to tie the game for Oakland.
Hogan Harris (2-0) pitched seven stellar innings, allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts.
“That’s got to be the best that young man has thrown the baseball," Kotsay said. “It was a Hogan Harris night, really.”
Trevor May earned his third save in five chances as Oakland’s bullpen recorded a save for the sixth consecutive game.
Manuel Margot drove in Tampa Bay’s run on an RBI single in the fifth.
Poche gave up one run in his lone inning.
Both teams used openers. A’s right-hander Shintaro Fujinami pitched a scoreless first inning while Rays lefty Jalen Beeks handled the first 1 2/3 frames.
“We just couldn’t get much going,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Their pitchers did a really good job. Harris came in after Fujinami and really threw the ball well.”
REVERSE BOYCOTT DONATIONS
The Athletics announced they would donate all ticket revenue from Tuesday’s game, totaling $811,107, to two local community organizations: The Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Oakland Public Education Fund.
Rays: RHP Pete Fairbanks (left hip inflammation) is nearing a return from the 15-day injured list. Cash said Fairbanks would likely join the team Wednesday in Oakland and could be reinstated soon after. “I think it’s really close,” Cash said.
Athletics: RHP Dany Jiménez (strained pitching shoulder) is progressing in his throwing program while RHP Zach Jackson is expected to begin a throwing program next week as he works back from a flexor tendon strain in his pitching arm. ... RHP Mason Miller has begun a throwing program as he deals with tightness in his right forearm. ... C Manny Piña is ramping up his hitting work as he recovers from a sprained left wrist.
The Rays signed RHP Erasmo Ramírez to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Durham. Ramírez was released by the Nationals on Thursday after going 2-3 with a 6.33 ERA in 27 innings this season.
RHP Tyler Glasnow (1-0, 2.87 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season Wednesday night for Tampa Bay. Glasnow has allowed just one run in each of his last two outings. Oakland counters with rookie RHP Luis Medina (1-5, 7.53), coming off his first career win Friday at Milwaukee.
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