Seven games, all of which were decided by three runs or fewer.
The Athletics took four of seven from the Tampa Bay Rays to close out the season series, which culminated with a disappointing 4-3 loss at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday.
"Every one went down to the last at-bat, the last strike," A's manager Bob Melvin said Sunday, after Oakland allowed four unanswered runs in the loss. "So, it wasn’t a surprise that it happened again today. We felt pretty good at 3-0, but they’re a team that comes back. They’re scrappy like we are, and its probably gonna go down to the end, it did."
The two clubs first played a four-game set in late April from Tampa Bay, with each team winning two. The aggregate score of the four games was 9-8 in favor of the Rays.
One of the four games featured one of the biggest indictments of MLB's new replay system to date, as Elvis Andrus somehow was ruled out initially and after review despite clearly never being tagged.
The teams reunited in Oakland beginning Friday, when Seth Brown broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run.
After a 6-3 win on Saturday, the A's got up 3-0 in Sunday's contest before Tampa Bay home runs in the fifth and sixth innings propelled the Rays to a comeback win.
Tampa Bay was one win away from the World Series last season, and even with a slow start out of the gate in 2021, are one of the American League's most talented teams.
The Rays also knocked the A's out of the 2019 MLB Wild Card Game, something Matt Chapman hasn't forgotten.
“Every time we play these guys it seems like its a battle, that’s a really good team, feel like they’re a similar kind of ball club to us," Chapman said. "The way they play the game, the matchups, having guys that can play multiple positions, so I feel like we’re similar baseball teams, both in good divisions.
"So to be able to win that series, unfortunately we dropped that game today, but to be able to come out of it winning this series today and taking four out of seven from them is something we can feel good about because that's a team that's played late into the postseason and also a team that we’ve been knocked out of the playoffs by. So we feel good about these games that we played against them, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them down the road."
The A's now head back to the East Coast, where they will begin a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday.