Rays Win With Pitching, Defense, and Three HomersFollow @Steve_Kinsella1
St. Petersburg, FL – The Tampa Bay Rays won their eighth consecutive game defeating the Oakland Athletics 11-0 on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
Jeffrey Springs (2-0, 0.00 ERA) picked up the win and Kevin Kelly worked the final two frames to keep the shutout intact. It marks the second shutout for the Rays staff this season (also 4-0 over Detroit March 30th). It’s also the 14th time a Rays have shut out Oakland.
The Rays continue to follow a familiar pattern with their wins. It starts with the starting pitcher delivering quality innings, the defense comes up with a stellar play or two, and the offense cranks homers.
Jeffrey Springs tossed seven scoreless frames, Luke Raley threw out Jesus Aguilar trying to score in the second, and the offense hit another three homers in pushing across 11 runs.
With the win the Rays are the first team to win eight straight games by four or more runs during any point during the season since the 1939 New York Yankees won 10 straight such games. The Rays are the first team to start a season 8-0 since the 2003 Royals started the year 9-0. It’s also the Rays longest winning streak since they won 11 in a row from May 13 through 24, 2021.
Shintaro Fujinami (0-2, 17.55 ERA) takes the loss for Oakland who fall to 2-6 on the season and they have now lost six of their last seven after defeating the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Opening Day. It was the Athletics second time they’ve been shutout this season while also being held to a season low three hits.
Springs Holds Athletics Scoreless Through Seven:
In his first start of the season Jeffrey Springs worked six no-hit innings against the Detroit Tigers. On Saturday afternoon he wasn’t quite as dominant but he did hold the Oakland Athletics scoreless on three hits through seven innings of work. He struck out seven and walked three making 89 pitches with 61 for strikes.
It was a career high in innings pitched for Springs who previously had tapped out at the six inning mark. “It felt good,” Springs said of getting the seventh inning under his belt. “As starters we want to go as deep as possible. We rely on the bullpen so anytime we can eat up innings deeper in the game that’s a big deal for those guys to get a blow. We’re going to rely on them as the season goes on….” Springs added that he hopes that the seven innings today will “set a new norm for himself to continue to push it.”
Kevin Cash was impressed with Springs noting that he’s on a pretty good run right now. Cash was also encouraged that Springs got through the seventh inning. “He worked a little bit early in the ballgame, it was in the second inning that they had some traffic,” Cash said. “His stuff is just really playing well right now. Righty, lefty, it doesn’t matter right now he has a great feel for the breaking ball and obviously the change up.”
Springs has now logged 13 scoreless innings in 2023 while striking out 19 batters, walking four, and holding the opposition to a .075 (3-for-40) average.
Paredes Strikes Again:
A day after delivering a key 2-out grand slam Isaac Paredes delivered with 2-outs again delivering a 2-RBI single scoring both Brandon Lowe and Wander Franco to give Tampa Bay the 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Paredes finished the day 1-for-3 with a HBP driving in 3 runs. It marks the first time in his career that he has driving in multiple runs in back to back games.
Tampa Bay extended their lead to 5-0 in the fifth inning on a bases loaded 2-RBI single by Randy Arozarena ending Athletics starter Shintaro Fujinami’s afternoon. Sam Moll entered and retired Wander Franco on a shallow fly ball to right but then hit pinch hitter Harold Ramirez to load the bases and followed that up by hitting Isaac Paredes to bring in the fifth run.
Margot Hits His Second Homer In As Many Days:
Manuel Margot led off the sixth inning belting a solo homer against Domingo Acevedo to extend Tampa Bay’s lead to 6-0. It’s Margot’s second homer in as many days. Margot has hit safely and driven in a run in each of his last six games against the Athletics.
B.Lowe Ends Homerless Drought:
Brandon Lowe ended 2022 on a career long 19 game homerless streak and was without a long ball through the Rays first seven games this season. That 26 game drought ended as Lowe belted a no-doubter 3-run homer to right center in the sixth inning to push the Rays lead to 9-0. The homer was his seventh career long ball against Oakland, the most against any opponent.
Arozarena Blast Caps Scoring:
Oakland utilized backup catcher Carlos Perez to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning and Randy Arozarena delivered Tampa Bay’s third homer of the game, a 2-run shot giving the Rays the 11-0 lead. The 15,880 broke out the RAN-DEE chant as he crossed the plate.
Siri Heads To IL:
Jose Siri raced to the wall in the eighth inning Friday night to rob Seth Brown of extra bases with a leaping grab at the wall. Unfortunately he felt a tug in his hamstrings. He remained in the game, but in the morning the tightness was more than the Rays had hoped and he was sent for an MRI. Prior to the game, the Rays placed Siri on the 10-day injury list and recalled Vidal Brujan from the Triple-A Durham Bulls.
Siri was off to a scorching start for the Rays offensively and defensively. He has had at least one base hit in each of the six games he has appeared as well as driving in a run in five of the six games.
Brujan returns to the big leagues hoping to show the Rays some growth and improvement from his prior stints in 2021 and 2022. While his time was limited to 10 games in 2021 (batting .077 [2×26]) he was given more of an opportunity in 2022. In 52 games last year he hit .163/.228/.259.
Up Next For Rays:
Tampa Bay and Oakland complete their weekend series at Tropicana Field on Sunday afternoon at 1:100 pm. Drew Rasmussen (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his second start of the season and will be countered by James Kaprielian (0-0, 9.00 ERA). The two teams meet again in a four game series in Oakland June 12 through 15, 2023 in Oakland.
After the series with the Athletics, the Rays will remain at home and open a four game series with the Boston Red Sox on Monday night at 6:40 pm.
Oakland continues their road trip and head to Baltimore to take on the Orioles for four games.
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