Tampa Bay sweep Oakland in weekend series

The Tampa Bay Rays (8-10) brought their brooms to Tropicana Field on Sunday after an 8-1 win over the Oakland Athletics (12-7) to complete a series sweep. The Rays won 8-3 on Friday and 1-0 on Saturday in the first two games of the series.

Tampa Bay enjoyed a strong start from their right hander Roberto Hernandez (1-3, 4.74 ERA). Hernandez pitched six innings, allowed three hits, gave up one run, walked three and struck out seven on 103 pitches. It was Hernandez’s first win since he was known as Fausto Carmona. Rays manager Joe Maddon said that the start was a confidence booster.

The A’s came into the series at the Trop fresh off of a home sweep against the Houston Astros. The Rays entered the series having lost five of their previous six. Maddon said it was nice to sweep a hot Oakland team.

It was the Rays’ first sweep against Oakland since May 2005. Tampa Bay’s pitching staff held the Athletics to only four runs in the three-game series.

The Rays jumped ahead 3-0 in the first, and then scored another run in the second thanks to a Yunel Escobar homer. Tampa Bay added to their lead with two runs in the seventh and another two in the eighth to take the 8-1 lead.

Oakland was in the hole early and wasn’t able to take advantage of their opportunities. Hernandez held the A’s to 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Maddon was pleased with how his club played well in all phases of the game.

Tampa Bay will continue their homestand as the New York Yankees (10-7) come to town for a three-game series tonight. Tampa Bay will turn to Matt Moore on the mound (3-0, 1.00 ERA) and New York will counter with C.C. Sabathia (3-1, 2.57 ERA). The Rays have won 11-of-13 meetings at home against the Yanks dating back to the 2011 season. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Monday.

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