If you let your thoughts wander during the Tampa Bay Rays-A's game Friday night it would have been easy to convince yourself that you were getting a glimpse into the future.

Both teams still entertain visions of winning their respective divisions. For now they are the two teams currently in possession of the wild-card playoff spots in the American League.

The A's beat the Rays 4-3 on Friday and moved one-half game ahead of them in the wild-card standings not to mention within two games of the Texas Rangers in the American League West.

Catcher Kurt Suzuki and shortstop Jed Lowrie delivered the big hits with Suzuki erasing a 1-0 deficit with a three-run home run and Lowrie breaking a 3-3 tie.

Suzuki was traded to the A's by the Washington Nationals on Aug. 23 just as the A's departed for a seven-game trip. He played at the Coliseum on Friday for the first time since the trade.

"You couldn't write that" A's starting pitcher Jarrod Parker said of Suzuki's timely blast. "You couldn't make that stuff up."

Who says you don't get a second chance to make a first impression?

"It was pretty special" Suzuki said. "That felt really good. For it to be off a pitcher like (David) Price who's arguably one of the best pitchers in the game right now is pretty neat."

As usual the A's kept things in perspective and their focus on the playoff race.

There's a sizable margin between the A's and Rays and the teams chasing them for the two wild-card berths.

Therefore it isn't difficult to envision these teams holding on and playing an even more meaningful game in October with the winner advancing.

Seeing Parker and Price on the mound further validated the feeling that this three-game series merely is a prelude.

Price is the reigning American League Cy Young winner and Parker on Friday increased his streak to 17 straight starts without a loss including a 4-0 mark in six August games.