Mike Fiers has been nothing short of spectacular since the Oakland Athletics acquired him from the Detroit Tigers in a waiver deal Aug. 6.On Sunday Roy Oswalt Jersey , the veteran right-hander tries to put a stop to Oakland’s mini-skid when he goes against the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of a three-game series at Tropicana Field.By losing Saturday night, the A’s dropped their second tight decision in the last three games, which qualifies as a slump for one of the hottest teams in baseball.Article continues below ...They lost to the Rays, another hot team, meaning the series is on the line Sunday. But there’s more — a LOT more — at stake than just the series in this finale.Saturday’s loss kept the A’s from getting back to within a half-game of the losing New York Yankees for home-field advantage in the wild-card game. It also dropped Oakland 3 1/2 games back of the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West.In a game that featured the first matchup of “openers,” or relievers starting games worked by the bullpen, Oakland rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to pull into a 4-4 tie but then lost 7-5 – their fourth setback in six games against the Rays this season. Jake Bauers’ three-run homer was the winner.Diego Castillo will again be the “opener” for the Rays on Sunday — after Saturday’s game saw Tampa Bay improve to 27-19 when starting a reliever.The Rays, 19-5 in their last 24 games and 13-3 in their last 16 home games, kept their slight chances of catching the A’s for the second wild card as they are eight games out.Fiers is 5-0 with a 2.72 ERA, has 42 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings and has the opposition batting .208 against him in seven starts with the Athletics. He is 12-6 with a 3.29 ERA overall on the season, and comes in 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA in four career starts against the Rays.He has a 7.31 ERA in three starts at the Trop and has not worked against Tampa Bay this season.The A’s went to the “opener” because of Trevor Cahill’s back issue and may have to use the new system again Tuesday or Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels.They rallied to tie and had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth inning before a strike-three call on Marcus Semien kept the score tied. The rally went nowhere and manager Bob Melvin was ejected by umpire Larry Vanover after the inning.“Obviously, I thought it was outside or I wouldn’t have been arguing like I did,” Melvin said. “It is what it is. … He’s trying to grind through that at-bat (nine pitches) and drive in a run, you get a call that’s not a strike and now you don’t have the advantage where we were.”Bauers snapped a 5-for-63 slump with three hits and four RBIs.Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash talked before the game about the use of the reliever in the first inning and said it has helped Castillo and Ryne Stanek.“I don’t think going into it we put the greatest emphasis on the actual opener http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-carlos-lee-jersey ,” he said. “I think we’ve learned as the season has kind of evolved that that’s just as important, and it’s helped those guys’ psyche when they get on the mound. And hopefully it helps their psyche when they get on the mound in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning. Ryne and Diego both, they’ve gotten big outs in different roles.”‘The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that the A’s will not be welcomed back in Nashville, with speculation on a move of their Triple-A club to Las Vegas, soon to also be the home of the Raiders. Las Vegas finished an agreement with the New York Mets this month. KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jack Flaherty got a lift from St. Louis’ lineup, and the rookie right-hander made the most of it.Flaherty struck out nine in seven innings, and the Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 8-3 on Saturday night for their fourth straight win.Harrison Bader and Jose Martinez each hit a two-run homer, helping the Cardinals move seven games above .500 for the first time since June 12. They are 15-9 since Mike Shildt was named interim manager on July 15.“It’s a lot easier when the offense goes out and gets you four runs, gets you ahead like that,” Flaherty said. “And then, you give up two and they get two right back. You look up and you’ve got a four-run lead again. Offense did their thing tonight.”Bader drove a full-count pitch over the wall in left with Jedd Gyorko aboard in the sixth. Danny Duffy (7-11) came close to striking out Bader earlier in the bat, but first base umpire Adam Hamari ruled Bader did not go around on a check swing.When manager Ned Yost came out to remove Duffy after the homer J.R. Richard Jersey , the pitcher headed for Hamari instead of the dugout. Pitching coach Cal Eldred had to restrain Duffy, who was ejected by Hamari.“He missed that call,” Duffy said. “It was so blatant that he went. I was upset with the missed call and I let it out. I didn’t think it was enough to walk toward me, to instigate it, which he did, baited me for sure. It’s not what lost us the game. It certainly isn’t. I didn’t pitch a good game.”Bader had a different view, saying “a hundred percent” he checked his swing.“He made the right call,” Bader said.Bader said he was “just reacting” on his homer.“Loading up early to make sure that I could hit everything, because he has a big arsenal,” Bader said. “With two strikes he expands a lot, so I was just loading up early and he left something up and I just put a good swing on it.”Duffy indicated his arm is not feeling the best.“I looked up when I was rarin’ back for a normal 95-96 (mph fastball) and I saw 87 up there,” Duffy said. “I don’t think it’s a mystery that I don’t feel great, but I’m not going to run from it. I’m used to throwing in the mid-90s and I’m not. I’m not a doctor. I can’t diagnose what’s going on, but whatever it is we’ll get through it and I’ll be fine.”Flaherty (6-6) was charged with two runs and three hits. Martinez connected in the ninth and drove in three runs.The Cardinals (62-55) scored four runs after Duffy retired the first two batters in the third.Yadier Molina sparked the rally by finishing a 10-pitch at-bat with a double. Molina advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Martinez’s infield single.Marcell Ozuna tripled home Martinez and scored on Paul DeJong’s double. Jedd Gyorko’s RBI single http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-jose-altuve-jersey , St. Louis’ fifth straight hit, made it 4-0.“Danny was really rolling the first two innings,” Yost said. “Until the Yadier at-bat, he was doing a great job of managing his pitch count. Yadier started that long inning for him.”Alcides Escobar hit a two-run homer in the fifth for Kansas City. Escobar, who reached three times, also scored in the eighth on Dakota Hudson’s wild pitch.Jordan Hicks got four outs for his third save in seven chances.The Royals (35-81) picked up their 81st loss at the earliest point in franchise history. The 2005 Royals were 38-81 on Aug. 17 on their way to a team record 106 losses.ERROR-FREEThe Royals have not committed an error in 11 straight games, tying the club record.MOLINA TIES REDMolina’s third-inning double was his 352nd, tying Red Schoendienst for seventh-most in Cardinals history.CARDS ADD WISDOMThe Cardinals purchased the contract of infielder Patrick Wisdom from Triple-A Memphis, where he was hitting .289 with a .363 on-base percentage and 14 homers. Wisdom’s 31 home runs last year ranked fifth in the minors, but he wasn’t added to St. Louis’ 40-man roster and wasn’t selected in the Rule 5 draft.“Disappointed, I wouldn’t use to describe my feelings,” Wisdom said. “I would just say frustrated. I was like ‘OK, obviously I need to get better.’ I didn’t pout or anything. I took it head on and kept working. Things worked out.”TRAINER’S ROOMCardinals: OF Yairo Munoz (sprained right wrist) was placed on the 10-day DL. He aggravated the injury on a swing Friday. He will see a hand specialist Monday. … RHP Luke Gregerson (shoulder impingement) was transferred to the 60-day DL.UP NEXTCardinals: RHP Luke Weaver is 6-10 with a 4.66 ERA in 23 starts heading into Sunday’s series finale.Royals: RHP Jakob Junis is winless in his last seven home starts.