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Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays 5-1 AL wild-card win over A’s

On Morton’s good-enough outing, the trade-off of offense for defense, handling an electric atmosphere.

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays 5-1 AL wild-card win over A’s:

* The one thing the Rays felt the most confident about was the solid performance they would get from veteran starter Charlie Morton, and while he wasn’t as sharp as expected he got them through five innings allowing one run, keeping his poise and their sense of calm intact.

* The Rays built their lineup to emphasize offense in the early innings with the potential to switch to a better defensive crew. That worked out just fine as they look the early lead, surviving a couple of misplays by Mike Brosseau and Yandy Diaz on the same play leading to the only Oakland run.

* Give the Rays players and staff credit. For days they’ve been asked whether they would be nervous on the playoff stage or intimidated by the large and loud Oakland crowd but they showed by taking the early lead and building it to 5-1. Former A’s reliever Emilio Pagan said the atmosphere was "second to none.''


a 4-0 lead that neither was an issue


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