NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Len Shapiro: Lightning shooting to tie series; Avalanche would like to go up 3-1 tonight

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) checks Colorado Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson (42) during the NHL Stanley Cup Finals game 3 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on Tue Jun 21, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the NHL Finals podcast with Len:

#1 Len, how big is this one tonight for the Tampa Bay Lightning they lost the first two games got demolished in game 2, 7-0 but came right back on home ice to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 in game 3 to cut Colorado’s lead 2-1.

#2 The Bolts Stephen Stamkos has stayed consistent in the post season and Monday night was no different as Stamkos scored one of the six Tampa Bay goals.

#3 Len talk about Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman who each had two assists and help the Lightning on offense.

#4 Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 37 shots and allowed two goals only the Avalanche’s left winger Gabriel Landeskog did all the scoring with two goals.

#5 For game 4 Len who do you see getting the start in goal for the Avalanche Darcy Kuemper or Paul Francouz? Kuemper struggled in game 3 allowing five goals and Francouz allowed one goal in relief.

Join Len throughout the NHL Stanley Cup Finals for analysis at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Mary Lisa: Lightning need game 4 as well or go back to Colorado down 3-1

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) puts the puck by Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) in second period action in game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on Monday, June 20, 2022,

On the Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 Mary Lisa, the Tampa Bay Lightning down 2-0 in the series bounce back and get a much needed 6-2 win to cut the Colorado Avalanche’s series lead to 2-1.

#2 Game 2 the Aves crushed the Lightning 7-0 and after that game the Lightning were concerned about a high scoring Avalanche team but in game 3 on Monday the Lighting on home ice nailed it not wasting any time scoring twice in the first period and four in the second period.

#3 The Lightning got scoring help from Steven Stamkos one goal, Nikita Kucherov two assists, Victor Hedman two assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal saving 37 shots.

#4 The Avalanche might have been shutout if it weren’t for left winger Gabriel Landeskog who did all the scoring with two goals.

#5 Game 4 is slated for Wednesday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. The Avalanche could lick their wounds and rebound and take game 4 and go up 3-1. The Lightning could keep the momentum going with a second straight home ice win. How do you see things shaking out in game 4.

Join Mary Lisa for the NHL Finals podcast throughout the Finals at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: The best division in baseball plus

Copy of the New York Daily News announcing the New York Mets and New York Yankees in the Subway World Series in 2000 edition could the two cross city rivals meet again in this year’s fall classic? (photo by wikipedia)

The Best Division in Baseball, Plus

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–For the first time this 2022 season there will be a third wild card team on each league. No division in baseball is better than the American League East, with the New York Yankees walking-away with the best record in baseball and Toronto, Tampa Bay and Boston poised for a tremendous race.

For the first time ever, a division could have three wild card teams going into the postseason and a total of four of the five teams in this division playing in October.

The American League East is the only division in baseball with four teams playing over .500. In the AL West, there is only one team to beat, Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros, they are the best team and will stay in first place.

The LA Angels are sputtering again, after a very nice start, they went into a funk lost 14 in a row, from May 25 to June 8,and Joe Maddon (one of the best managers in baseball) was sent packing.

Next managerial change could come from Seattle, where expectations were high for this team to win this year. Manager Scott Servais and General Manager Jerry DiPoto are in the hot seat. The Texas Rangers spend a fortune (close to half billion dollars) signing Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, they are both starting to play the way everybody expected, but I do not believe they have the pitching to overtake their State rivals Houston Astros.

The Oakland A’s are what they are. All the other teams have more established talent, they are trying to compete with rookie manager Mark Kotsay, a good baseball man, but the best jockey in the world cannot win the race if the horse is limping.

In the Central Division, considered the weakest in all the major leagues, supposed to be an easy one for the Chicago White Sox, but the great Tony LaRussa is not having much fun so far, star closer Liam Hendriks just placed into the IL.

The Minnesota Twins will be in the playoffs, as of today leading that division and the Cleveland Guardians are playing good baseball, leading the way at third-base, José Ramirez an early candidate for MVP. Watch out for the Indians, sorry, the Guardians, they have a good team and a terrific manager in Terry Francona.

There are some 100 games left for each team this season. While in New York they are talking about a Subway Series, Mets vs Yankees. Most recently, in 2000 the New York teams faced each other with the Yankees winning in five games, a memorable series, which I happened to worked for the Latino Baseball Network.

In other cities there is lots of disappointment. In Los Angeles, the Dodgers, whose manager, Dave Roberts predicted a 2022 World Series win during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, when he said “We will win the World Series in 2022. We will win the World Series this year.”

The Dodgers have pitching problems, ace Walker Buehler recently went into the IL, Julio Urias is not going to win 20 games again this season (he was the only to win 20 last season) plus mixed with an inconsistent offense, the Dodgers have stuff to “figure out”, they do have the talent.

The San Diego Padres, at this time, even with the delayed return of superstar Fernando Tatis Jr, looks like the team that could win this division. Bob Melvin is doing a great job, which is nothing new for the three-time Manager of the Year.

The San Francisco Giants, while they are not going to win 107 games again, they find a way to win series, starter Jacob Junis went into the IL, veterans like Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt, can’t seem to stay healthy.

Giants lost some pieces in the off-season, perhaps the biggest one, starter Kevin Gausman who had his best year ever in 2021 with a 14-6 record, and 2.81 ERA, he left for a very lucrative contract in Toronto. Nobody expected the Giants to have a similar season as 2021, which was a dream season, when every player at the same time, had great years.

Trades: The new deadline this year is set for August 2. There will be many trades, some earlier than others, but the greatest commodities are starting pitchers. they are in high demand. Many of the teams with hopes of postseason play will reinforce themselves. In today’s game the old saying “you never have enough pitching” is new again.

Happy Fathers Day weekend.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for all the play by play of Oakland A’s baseball on the A’s Spanish radio network and on flagship station Le Grande 1010 KIQI San Francisco and News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: A’s get out of town after getting swept twice by Cleveland and Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Rays’ Manuel Margot hits a two-run single against the Oakland Athletics during the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum as the Rays shutout Oakland 3-0 on Wed May 4, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry F:

#1 The Oakland A’s (10-15) who were swept twice in the last homestand by the Cleveland Guardians and the Tampa Bay Rays (15-10) one thing that showed in this past homestand they just couldn’t get many runs on the scoreboard.

#2 Game three of get away day on Thursday was quite transparent as the A’s and Rays played to a 0-0 score until the top of the eighth and the Rays attacked with three runs and never looked back and wound up with a 3-0 shutout win.

#3 The Rays Manuel Margot who slugged a two run single in part of the Rays three run attack broke what was a great pitching duel between the A’s starter Frankie Montas and Rays starter Corey Kluber.

#4 Montas threw like he could have completed the game but his pitch count was up and he was lifted for reliever Zach Jackson in the top of the eighth. Jackson was the pitcher of record that was charged with the three earned runs.

#5 It’s once again back to the drawing board for the A’s as they head for the Twin Cities and Minneapolis and Target Field for Friday night as the A’s will start left hand pitcher Cole Irvin (2-1 ERA 2.93) and the Twins have not announced a starting pitcher yet a 5:10 PDT first pitch.

Join Jerry for the A’s podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Rays send A’s down to their sixth loss in a row; Oakland shutout at Coliseum 3-0

Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena slides home to score against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum on Wed May 4, 2022 (AP News photo)

BY Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Tampa Bay Rays (15-10) beat the Oakland A’s (10-15) 3-0 to sweep the three-game series. The A’s suffered their sixth loss in a row and have lost nine of their last eleven games. The team continues not to hit well.

The A’s had four hits on Wednesday afternoon. Seth Brown had the hardest-hit ball when he tripled in the bottom of the second. 

The game was scoreless for seven innings. The A’s ace, Frankie Montas, was dominant. He went seven innings and allowed four hits and no runs. His opponent, former two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber pitched a masterful six innings.

Kluber looked like the dominant pitcher he was when he pitched in Cleveland. Kluber’s line was six innings, three hits, and no runs. He threw just 64 pitches.

One of the adages in baseball is that good teams find a way to win. Bad teams find a way to lose. The A’s found a way to lose Wednesday afternoon. The Rays put three runs on the board as the A’s reliever Zach Jackson walked two, hit a batter, and gave up a single.

The Rays’ third run scored on a balk. The results are bad when teams have trouble scoring runs and the relievers aren’t performing well. The game summary follows below.

The Rays put three runs on the board in the top of the eighth with just one hit. In relief of Frenkie Montas, Zach Jackson walked Brett Phillips to start the frame. Phillips went to second on a wild pitch. Jackson retired Yandy Diaz for the first out.

Phillips went to third on the play. The next hitter Wander Franco struck out. Jackson walked Randy Arozarena and hit Brandon Lowe with a pitch to load the bases with two out. The Rays’ Manuel Margot singled to right-field to drive in Phillips and Arozarena.

A’s manager Mark Kotsay brought in Domingo Acevedo to pitch with men on at first and third. The Rays plated the third run when a balk was called on Acevedo. The Rays lead 3-0 midway through the eighth inning. The Rays’ bullpen shut the A’s down in the eighth and ninth innings to win the game 3-0.

Game Notes: The A’s ended the six-game homestand 0-6. The A’s are 10-15 for the year with the loss. The Rays are 15-10. The winning pitcher for Tampa was J.P.Feyereisen. Zach Jackson was the losing pitcher. 

The A’s are off on Thursday as they are traveling to Minneapolis to face the Twins for three games starting Friday night. Left Cole Irvin will itch for Oakland. Irvin is 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA. The Twins have not announced their starting pitcher. 

The time of the game was two hours and thirty-nine minutes, and there were 4838 people present to watch the A’s lose.

Flood gates open and A’s drown in 10th inning to Rays 10-7; Loss is fifth straight for Oakland

Tampa Bay Rays’ Mike Zunino gestures after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Tue May 3, 2022 (AP News photo)

Tampa Bay. 10. 14. 0

Oakland 7. 10. 0

Tuesday May 3, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–The only consolation that the Athletics could salvage from last night’s debacle was their incredibly fine performance of their relievers, which hurled five innings without a blotch on its echelon. One runner reached first on an error, and that was it.

Lou Trivino once was a stalward of the A’s bullpen. He hasn’t been one this year, and the team hoped he change that situation with his return from the covid list, which was announced before game time. He didn’t.

Tonight the Athletics put their faith in their starter, Paul Blackburn. He’d justified that faith so far this season, going 3-0, 1.35 in his four starts, striking out 18 oppoints and walking only two. The only fly in that particular ointment is that the 6’1″, 195 lb. righty went five–no more, no less–innings in each and every appearance. In his first of the season, he held Tampa Bay runless on three hits over his quintet of frames.

The Rays chose southpaw Ryan Yarbrough to face the hometown crew in his first start of the season, in St. Petersburg on April 12, but tightness in his left groin kept him out of action and on the injured list until today.

The game started inauspiciously for the Oakland nine. Yandy Díaz led off with a nubber down the third base line that Kevin Smith couldn’t come up with. The ball bounced off the bag, and Díaz made it to first with a single.

Smith, playing in the shift, fielded Wander Franco’s grounder to the right of second and tagged Díaz out. But Franco had tied the A’s third baseman long enough for Franco to arrive safely at first. Brando Lowe’s two double to right center put the Rays ahead before Manuel Margot popped out to short to end the inning.

Oakland came back with a vengeance in its half of the frame. Chad Pinder beat out Franco’s throw from short for an infield single. He moved up to second on Sheldon Neuse’s walk. Jed Lowrie smacked a hard line drive to Randy Arozarena in left, who dropped it but recovered quickly enough to force Pinder out at third.

Sean Murphy popped out to first for the second out. Stephen Piscottty’s walk loaded the bases, and Christian. Bethancourt’s walk forced in Neuse and left the basepaths clogged.

That set the stage for Smith to redeem his two misplays in the top of the inning. He took an 84mph cutter 381 feet deep, into the left field bleachers for the first home run of the season, a grand slam that put Oakand up, 5-1.

Kevin Kiermaier’s lead off single, followed an out later by Brett Phillips 419 foot blast in right center off of an 85mph changeup closed that margin to 5-3 after two.

With Piscotty and Bethancourt on base with none out in the bottom of the third, Yarbrough caught Smith looking at a third strike and then left the game, relieved by his namesake Ryan Thompson. Tampa Bay’s starter had lasted 2-1/3 episodes, allowing five runs, all earned, on six hits, including Smith’s grand slam,three walks and a hit batter.

He threw 56 pitches, 32 of which qualified as strikes. Thompson got out of the inning without allowing the A’s to do further damage.

Blackburn had to face some more troubles in the fourth. It wasn’t as bad as what he’d faced in the previous inning, when he’d stymied the Rays after Arozarena’s one out triple. Now he had to deal with a one out double by Taylor Walls. He solved that problem by picking off the Floridian runner in a long rundown and striking out Phillips.

Thompson pitched 1-1/3 innings and did it well, not allowing anyone to reach base safely and fanning one. Jeffrey Springscame and ended the frame by striking out Lowrie.

Blackburn’s streak of four consecutive outings of five innings was shattering in the fifth. Zach Jackson relieved him with Díaz on first with a walk and one man out. Franco greeted the newcomer with a single to right that sent the runner to third. But Arozarena smacked a grounder that Andrus turned into a nifty 6-4-3 twin killing.

Blackburn left having thrown 64 pitches, 42 for strikes. The three runs scored against him were earned, and he allowed six hits and a walk. He struck out five. His ERA rose but only to a still more than respectable 2.22.

Manager Kotsay called on AJ Puck for Tampa Bay’s sixth. He sailed through both that and seventh frame; he struck out two of the six batters he faced. None reached base. Danny Jiménez relieved him, pitching a spotless eighth.

Matt Wisler took over after Spring´s successful 3-1/3 inning intervention.during which he held the A’s to two singles.

It now was up to Kirby Snead to face the Rays’ number four, five, and six hitters to save the game for the A’s. Except that Isaac Paredes pinch hit for the cleanup man, Lowe.

He worked a full count, but Snead got him to fly out to Billy McKinnie, who had pinch hit for Bethancourt and now was playing in right field. Margot reached first on a single to center. Mike Zunino, batting all of .106, lofted a 402 foot blast over the State Farm sign in left center, tying the game at five.

After Taylor singled to right and advanced to second on Phillips’ ground out to first, Trivino got a chance to prove his worth. He would have pitched to number nine hitter René Pinto, but it was pinch hitting Harold Ramírez who grounded out to Andrius to end the inning.

Andrew Kitteridge took over in the ninth to preserve the tie and send the game into extra innings, retiring the bottom third of the Oakland lineup in order.

Trivino remained on the mound in the top of the tenth, with Ramírez on second as the zombie runner. Soon it was Díaz on second, after Tampa Bay´s first sacker doubled off the Craftsman sign in right center, driving Ramírez home with the leading run. Franco then was granted an intentional pass to first.

He and Díaz moved up a bag on Arozaren’s slow ground out, Andrus to Seth Brown, now at first after having pinch hit for Piscotty in the eighth. The A’s pulled in the infield for a possible play at the plate. Paredes lifted a single to left over the drawn in fielders to bring in the two runners.

Then Margot smacked a triple to left center to bring Paredes home. Zunino drove in Margot for another tally, and, just like that, Justin Grimm was on the mound, facing Taylor Walls and trailing 10-5. Grimm retired Walls on a pop to third and then walked Phillips, but retired Ramírez to end Oakland´s misery.

Jason Adam was the last hurler on the mound for the visitors, starting the tenth with Pache placed on second, by fanning Plnder. Hope sprang eternal in the breasts of the 2,815 diehards in the stands when Neuse doubled to drive Pache in, making the score the score 10-6.

After Nuese reached third on Lowrie’s groundout to first, Murphy’s seeing eye broken bat single to left made it 10-7. Brown worked a full count before grounding out to short to end a most disappointing failure.

The win went to Kittridge, his second against. no defeats, for his inning of work. The loss, of course, was charged to Trivino, who, in a mere 2/3 of an inning allowed five runs, four of them earned on four hits and a walk. It took him 20 pitches to do this, lowering his won-lost record to 0-2 and raising his ERA to 12.46.

The series concludes Wednesday afternoon at 12:37 with A’s starter Frankie Montás (2-2 ERA 4.25) facing Corey Kluber (1-1ERA 3.50)

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.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s open up homestand against Orioles: A’s have seven players out with Covid 19 protocols

Oakland A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty is one of seven Athletics that were out for the home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at the Oakland Coliseum on Mon Apr 18, 2022 (AP News file photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

The Oakland A’s (5-5) surprised a lot of the oddsmakers after they were predicted to pretty much have a rough start not to mention a very unexpected opening of the season to open a ten game road trip.

The A’s who lost two out of three to the Philadelphia Phillies but won that last and final third game and got inspiration and won three out of four in Tampa Bay including a 13-2 landslide on Mon Apr 11th at Tropicana Field.

Then the A’s who lost two out of three to the Toronto Blue Jays did pick up a win on Thu Apr 14th winning a two run ball game 7-5. The A’s on trip got some run production from catcher Sean Murphy and some closing help from Lou Trivino. The A’s went 5-5 which was unexpected on the trip.

On the Covid list: On that last A’s road trip the A’s might have got away with a lot with a relatively unexpected successful road trip going 5-5 but for the A’s home opener the A’s have seven players out with Covid 19 protocol issues, outfielder Stephen Piscotty, catcher Austin Allen, infielders Jed Lowrie, Chad Pinder, pitchers AJ Puk, Lou Trivino and Kirby Snead. Called up infielders Nick Allen and Christian Lopes, and pitcher Sam Selman. The A’s who opened up their season in Philadelphia on Fri Apr 8th came at a time when the city of Philadelphia is having a relatively large BA 2 Variant outbreak and has mandated mask wearing and social distancing.

The Baltimore Orioles are 3-6 but had won two of their last three games against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards. This could be a lot closer of a series than the oddsmakers are predicting.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish radio lead play by play announcer heard on flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: A’s score often and score early; Team shocks oddsmakers with 3 out 4 series win over Rays

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier loses sight of the ball hit by the Oakland Athletics Sean Murphy in the top of the third inning at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay Thu Apr 14, 2022 (AP News photo)

Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson:

#1 Jerermiah, No one would have predicted after the Oakland A’s (4-3) dealt Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Sean Manaea, Matt Olson, Chris Bassitt and Matt Chapman that they would open the season on the road winning four of their last seven games going 4-3.

#2 To open the season on the road the A’s lost their first two games to the Philadelphia Phillies and the critics were saying “here we go” as the oddsmakers had the A’s finishing in the bottom of the cellar but something sparked them as they now have won four of their last five games.

#3 In Tampa Bay (4-3) the A’s opened the four game series on Monday with a 13-2 win, on Tuesday they nearly won that contest but lost by a run 9-8, on Wednesday they got a three run homer out of catcher Sean Murphy and excellent pitching from Frankie Montas in a 4-2 win, and Thursday soundly beating the Rays 6-3 on some solid hitting.

#4 The A’s scored early and often on Thursday getting three runs in the second and a run in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Is this a matter of some smart sabermetrics or just some sound fundamental hitting from the A’s line up,

#5 The A’s will be starting Daulton Jefferies (1-0 ERA 0.00) going up against the Toronto Blue Jays (4-2) Ross Stripling (0-0 ERA 9.00) at Rogers Centre in Toronto tonight. The Blue Jays have been playing some good ball of late how do you see this match up tonight to open the series.

Join Jeremiah for the Oakland A’s podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Irvin’s strong effort leads A’s to third win in four games Rays 6-3

Oakland A’s Cristian Pache hustles around third as he’s waved in by third base coach Darren Bush in the top of the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Thu Apr 14, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s (4-3) downed the Tampa Bay Rays (4-3) 6-3 Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field. The A’s starter, Cole Irvin, gave the A’s six and one-third innings and held the potent Rays’ lineup in check. The A’s won the series three games to one.

Winning three out of four from Tampa is no easy task. The Rays are loaded with terrific young players like Wander Franco, Randy Arozarena, Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe, Brett Phillips, and Kevin Kiermaier.

They are a tough bunch to hold in check. Yet, the A’s pitchers did well as they are now 4-3 for the year. This weekend, the A’s are winging their way to Toronto to face another formidable lineup.

For the fourth game in a row, the A’s jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. In the first three games, A’s hitters slugged a three-run dinger. They used a different formula to put the three runs on the board on Thursday.

A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus continued his hot start with a single to left. Kevin Smith followed with a single, his first hit of the year. Rays’ starter, Josh Fleming, retired Austin Allen for the second out. A’s centerfielder, Cristian Pache, singled to left-center. Rays’ left fielder, Randy Arozarena, attempted to cut the ball off from going into the gap in left-centerfield.

As he was sliding, the ball kicked off his foot and was to the wall. Kevin Kiermaier chased the ball down. He had trouble getting a good grip on the ball, which allowed the speedy Pache to score. The A’s led 3-0 midway through the second inning.

The Rays got one back in the half of the second. Randy Arozarena, trying to atone for his miscue, doubled leading off the frame. Brandon Lowe singled, sending Arozarena to third with no out. Manuel Margot singled to drive in Arozarena with the Rays’ first run. Cole Irvin retired Mike Zunino on a flyball to rightfield.

The Rays’ runners tagged and attempted to advance a base. Lowe made it safely to third. Billy McKinney’s strong throw to Elvis Andrus nailed Margot at second base. Umpire Jerry Lane was knocked to the ground as he watched the play to make the call. Lane got up and signaled that Margot was out. Cole retired Kiermaier for the third out. The A’s led 3-1 after two complete.

In the third, fourth, and fifth innings, the A’s added a run to take a 6-1 advantage. In the third, a single by Chad Pinder and a booming double by Sean Murphy produced the A’s fourth run.

In the fourth, the A’s loaded the bases with a walk to Smith, Pache’s infield single, and a walk to Tony Kemp. Pinder grounded out. Smith scored on the play. The A’s loaded the bases in the fifth. The run scored when Kevin Smith hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

In the meantime, Cole Irvin found his groove. The. Lefty mowed down 14 Rays’ hitters in a row. The streak ended when Rays’ DH Harold Ramirez doubled to lead off the seventh. Cole retired Randy Arozarena for the first out.

Brandon Lowe showed the A’s why he is one of the better hitters in the Rays’ lineup. The second baseman sent one of Irvin’s offerings into the seats in right field to close the gap to 6-3. A’s manager Mark Kotsay saw enough. He brought in Domingo Acevedo to pitch. Acevedo did his job as he struck out Mike Zunino and Kevin Kiermaier to end the seventh.

A.J. Puk held the Rays scoreless in the eighth, and Dany Jimenez earned his first-career save to preserve the win for Oakland.

Game Notes- With the win, the A’s are 4-3. The Rays’ record dropped to 4-3.
Irvin was the winning pitcher. His record is now 1-1. He went six and one-third innings, allowing five hits and three runs. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. The Rays’ Josh Fleming took the loss. He is now 1-1. Fleming went three and one-third innings and allowed seven hits and five runs. Only three of the runs were earned.

A’s catcher Sean Murphy had two doubles in the game. The line for Oakland was six runs, nine hits, and one error. The line for Tampa was three runs, six hits, and one very costly error.

The A’s start a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays starting Friday night in Toronto. The A’s will send Daulton Jeffries to the hill to face a formidable Toronto offense. The Blue Jays will feature Vladimir Guerrero, Jr, Bo Bichitte, and George Springer. It will not be easy. The Blue Jays’ starter will be Ross Stripling. The game will start at 4:07 pm.

The time of the game was 2:33 minutes. 6,287 fans watched the Rays lose for the third time in the four-game series. The total number of people that watched the four-game series was about 35,000. Despite their success on the field, the Rays continue to draw poorly. They, as well as the A’s, need a new ballpark. Hopefully, both teams will get a new stadium, The sooner, the better.