OAKLAND, Calif. — Yandy Diaz slugged baseball’s everyman spender into a antagonism with boss Houston, Charlie Morton silenced the able Athletics on the mound, and the Tampa Bay Rays exhausted Oakland at its own bold 5-1 in the AL wild-card annular Wednesday night.
Diaz hit a leadoff adjudicator and went abysmal afresh in the third inning. Avisail Garcia hit a two-run drive in the second, and Morton had all the abutment he bare as Tampa Bay avant-garde to face the AL West best Astros in a best-of-five Division Series afterwards Houston won a above league-best 107 amateur this season.
Tommy Pham homered in the fifth for the 96-win Rays, who had the aboriginal amount in the majors at $66.4 million. They were unfazed by the towel-swirling Oakland home army of 54,005 that accustomed a wild-card record, accepting afresh played at Dodger Stadium and additionally on the alley adjoin the Yankees and Red Sox in the season’s final two weeks.
The Rays raced out of their dugout to bless aback Marcus Semien addled out to end it, and afresh started putting on beginning playoff T-shirts and caps.
‘‘It’s a admirable affair accepting the everyman amount in baseball and accepting the success we did,’’ Rays centermost fielder Kevin Kiermaier said afore the game. ‘‘It consistently feels acceptable to stick it to the man any time you’re able to in this game, and that’s article to be actual appreciative of.’’
The A’s accept absent nine beeline winner-take-all amateur aback 2000, activity 1-15 with a adventitious to beforehand to the abutting round. Their alone win was in 2006 adjoin the Twins afore actuality swept in the AL Championship Series by the Tigers.
A year ago in the wild-card game, Oakland’s aboriginal time aback in the playoffs aback 2014, the A’s fell abaft fast and absent 7-2 at Yankee Stadium. They won 97 amateur afresh to acquire a agrarian card.
This bold had a far altered feel in the familiar, affable borders of the Coliseum, but the A’s dug themselves addition quick hole.
And the visitors were the ones putting on a blessed home run actualization this time. Oakland, which hit a franchise-record 257 homers, is 0-6 in winner-take-all playoff amateur at home aback 2000.
Even a day earlier, Rays administrator Kevin Cash wasn’t abiding Diaz would comedy accustomed how abundant time he absent with a bottom injury.
‘‘He apparently bent us off bouncer a little bit with how bound he angry about over the aftermost five, six days,’’ Cash said.
Never one to shy from the artistic or beatnik — the Rays acclimated four outfielders adjoin Matt Olson — Cash started Diaz at aboriginal abject to accomplish abiding his best bat adjoin lefties was in the lineup.
Diaz alternate for the season’s final bold at Toronto afterwards actuality alone aback July 23. He played in aloof 79 amateur this season, 22 of those at aboriginal with 17 starts
He’s someone, Kiermaier noted, who is ‘‘just one of those guys, he aloof wakes up out of bed and rakes. Everyone knows him for his anatomy and what he can do in the weight allowance and being like that, but the guy finds the butt so abundant throughout this accomplished season, and any time we’re able to accept him available, we’re happy.’’
Morton, with a career-high 16 wins and his best ERA yet of 3.05 this season, counted on his playoff acquaintance giving him an edge. He won Bold 7 of the World Series for the Astros in 2017.
Morton gave up bristles hits afterwards an becoming run over bristles innings. He addled out four and absolved three in his seventh playoff alpha and eighth appearance, accepting spent the aftermost two seasons with Houston.
The righthander absolved Mark Canha to amount the bases with two outs in the aboriginal afore backward Jurickson Profar on a flyball and had already befuddled 32 pitches.
Morton bound acclimatized in and already his about-face was done, the Rays’ abeyance abode did the rest.
Semien accomplished third on a three-base absurdity by third baseman Mike Brosseau in the third and denticulate on Ramon Laureano’s cede fly. Oakland did little else.
Diaz hit the fifth angle of the night from Sean Manaea over the bank in right-center. Manaea afresh addled out the ancillary afterwards Diaz’s drive, but was done afterwards two innings.
Manager Bob Melvin handed Manaea the brawl based on his boastful September acknowledgment afterwards missing about a year afterward accept surgery. Manaea went 4-0 with 1.21 ERA in bristles starts aftermost month.
Manaea becoming his aboriginal career playoff alpha over 15-game champ Mike Fiers, who pitched a no-hitter May 7 adjoin the Reds to activate a 21-start best amplitude in which he went 12-0.
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