ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Frankie Montas pitched the seventh inning well, Sean Murphy hit a three-run homer and the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Montas (1-1) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six, as the A’s beat Tampa Bay for the second time in three days.
Tampa Bay got a solo homer in the fourth inning from Ji-Man Choi.
After Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty walked twice in the third, Murphy pushed Shane McClanahan (0-1) deep to give the Aes a 3-0 lead. Murphy’s home run was his first this season.
Lou Trivino, Oakland’s third reliever, came out of a two-out jam in the ninth for his first save. After giving up a single to Francisco Mejía and walking Brandon Lowe, the right-hander caused a bad pop-up from Wander Franco.
Yandy Díaz scored a first right single in the seventh before Josh Lowe reached it when second baseman Sheldon Neuse misplayed his grounder. Montas left after removing Manuel Margot and was replaced by Kirby Snead, who gave up Mejía’s flared RBI single at center that put the Rays up 4-2.
McClanahan allowed three runs, two hits and three walks, and struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings.
Oakland took a 4-1 lead in the seventh on Cristian Pache’s RBI single.
The Rays selected reliever Dusten Knight from Triple-A Durham and he allowed a run in 2 1/3 innings. The 31-year-old, in pro ball since 2013, is known for doing backflips after saves, which he started doing in Double-A in the San Francisco organization.
“The rover (instructor) there was Will Clark, Will the Thrill,” Knight said. “He says do it and he gives the OK, absolutely I do.”
Knight began doing backflips at the age of nine as a wrestler. He played in seven games for Baltimore last season.
The Rays reclaimed the home run from Brett Phillips who sat on an overhanging podium on Tuesday night and will give it to 8-year-old Chloe Grimes, who has cancer for the second time. Grimes was being interviewed about Phillips, her favorite player, on the Rays’ TV show when he homered.
Athletics: Manager Mark Kotsay declined to comment on whether Oakland’s roster will be affected by a Canadian requirement that visitors be vaccinated against COVID-19. The A’s play Friday night in Toronto. … Right-handed Deolis Guerra underwent reconstructive ulnar collateral ligament surgery in his right elbow, which was performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Texas.
Rays: Starter Luis Patiño (left oblique strain), injured Monday night, was traded to the 60-day IL.
Left-hander A Cole Irvin (0-1) and Tampa Bay left-hander Josh Fleming (1-0) are Thursday’s starters.