Rays scored twice in third and forth innings defeat A’s 6-1; A’s play in front of smallest crowd of season

Tampa Bay Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier slides home to score against the Oakland Athletics in the fifth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Mon May 2, 2022 (AP News photo)

Tampa Bay. 6. 11. 0

Oakland. 1. 2. 2

Monday May 2, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s (10-13) started this season by dropping a three game series to the Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love. They righted the ship by taking three out of four in St. Petersburg, the retirement community that is home to the Salvador Dalí Museum and the monstrosity known as Tropicana field. The A’s took it on the chin on Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum with a 6-1 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays (13-10) to open a three game set.

By April 19 they reached the giddy heights of 7-5 and a tie with the Angels for first place in the AL West. Oakland finished the month at 10-11, last in their division

They continued to decline at the start of this month. Their 7-3 May Day loss to Cleveland wasn’t a distress call, but it wasn’t a harbinger of a smooth passage to the extended playoffs. Indeed, it completed the Guardians’ sweep of the three game series between the two teams.

The pitcher who earned the green and gold their first win of the season was Daulton Jefferies. He has pitched decently, in spite of losing to Toronto, Baltimore, and San Francisco in his three post Tampa Bay starts, only one of which lasted more than 4-1/3 innings.

Jefferies took the mound tonight with a record of 1-3 ERA 3.26, hoping to spark a turn around similar to the one that followed his start in the bailiwick of tonight’s opponents, the Rays. At least he wouldn’t have to deal with catwalks and artificial turf.

It did, however, have to deal with a team that is 12-10 in spite of its current two game losing streak, during which they scored only four runs against The Twins, who crossed the plate 18 times.

Their choice to face the A’s was right hander Drew Rasmussen, who brought his record to 1-1ERA 3.50 by going six innings to gain his first win of the season by defeating the Mariners in Seattle, allowing only a walk, a single, and a double.

Back at the Coliseum, a select group of 2,288 spectators saw the Rays crush the A’s, shortly after the Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission voted to approve the proposed Howard Terminal Stadium.

Yandy Díaz started things off for the visitors by parking Jefferies´sixth pitch, an 80mph curve on a 1-2 count, 407 feet into the staircase to the right of the nearly empty left field seats.

Oakland countered that long ball with some small ball in the bottom of the second. Seth Brown worked a two out 3-2 count for a walk and, with Chad Pinder at bat, stole second. Pinder’s single to right center knotted this score.

Wander Franco unknotted it for the Rays, with a little help from Cristián Pache, in Tampa Bay´s next AB. With Díaz on first with a lead off single, Franco singled to center and a charging Pache let the ball bounce over his head.

Franco reached third on the two base error and came home on Randy Arozarená’s single to center, but that was all the scoring the Rays were able to muster in that frame. Nonetheless, they had stretched their lead to 3-1.

Mike Zunino, whose BA wasn’t even half way up to the Mendoza line, got only his third RBI of the season by singling Manuel Margot, who had led off with a double, home and then advanced his lumbering frame to second on the throw, scoring one out later on Franco’s single to right. The score now stood at 5-1 in favor of the visitors.

It was 6-1 after 4-1/2. Margot’s two out two bagger plated Kevin Kiermaier with two down was responsible for the additional tally.

Jefferies didn’t come out to pitch in the sixth. He had managed to throw 90 pitches, 60 of which were considered strikes, in his five innings of work. All six of the runs scored against him were earned.

They came on 11 hits, one of which left the park. He struck out four but didn’t walk anyone. He was the losing pitcher. Oakland’s new pitcher was Domingo Acevedo, who retired six of the seven hitters he faced over the next two innings. The only exception was Franco, who reached on an error by Elvis Andrus in the sixth.

Rasmussen’s night’s work also ended after five innings. His other numbers were quite different from Jeffries’. The Rays’ starter allowed but one hit and one, earned, run, while striking out three and walking one.

He would get the win. Jason Adam replaced him in the sixth and set the A’s down in order before passing the baton to Phoenix Sanders. Sanders gave up the Athletics’ second hit of the night, a bunt single by Jed Lowrie.

Sam Moll was Oakland’s third hurler, taking over to start the eighth and setting the Rays down 1,2,3 with two strikeouts. Ryan Thompson, in turn, pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth for Tampa Bay.

Adam Kolarek finished up for the Athletics, retiring all three batters he confronted. Indeed, Oakland’s bullpen was nearly perfect. The only baserunner it allowed in its four innings on the mound came on Andrus’s error in the sixth frame.

Andrew Kittridge threw a perfect ninth for the Rays.

Oakland’s ace, Paul Blackburn will get the start on Tuesday night 3-0 ERA 1.35 mark against Tampa Bay pitcher to be announced in the second game of the current. series. Game time will be 6:40 at the Oakland Coliseum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s