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Diaz hits 2 homers, Rays beat A’s 5-1 in AL wild-card game

Wild Card Round - Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics
Wild Card Round - Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics
Posted at 6:22 AM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 06:22:19-04

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Yandy Diaz slugged baseball's lowest spender into a matchup with mighty Houston, Charlie Morton silenced the powerful Athletics on the mound, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Oakland at its own game 5-1 in the AL wild-card round Wednesday night.

Diaz hit a leadoff homer and went deep again in the third inning. Avisail Garcia hit a two-run drive in the second, and Morton had all the support he needed as Tampa Bay advanced to face the AL West champion Astros in a best-of-five Division Series after Houston won a major league-best 107 games this season.

Tommy Pham homered in the fifth for the 96-win Rays, who had the smallest payroll in the majors at $66.4 million. They were unfazed by the towel-swirling Oakland home crowd of 54,005 that established a wild-card record, having recently played at Dodger Stadium and also on the road against the Yankees and Red Sox in the season's final two weeks.

The Rays raced out of their dugout to celebrate when Marcus Semien struck out to end it, and then started putting on fresh playoff T-shirts and caps.

Wild Card Round - Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 02: Emilio Pagan #15 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with Travis d'Arnaud #37 after the final out against the Oakland Athletics to win the American League Wild Card Game 5-1 at RingCentral Coliseum on October 02, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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