Preview: Archer on mound as Rays seek series win against A’s
TV: FOX Sports Sun
TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 12:30 p.m.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After a split of a rare doubleheader at Tropicana Field, the Tampa Bay Rays will look to their ace, Chris Archer, to get a series win against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
Archer (4-4, 3.65) is coming off an 11-strikeout performance against the White Sox — his 23rd double-digit strikeout game of his career. Unfortunately, the Rays failed to provide run support and Archer was a tough-luck loser against the White Sox.
The Rays will also need Archer to eat up innings after being forced to use much of the bullpen in Saturday’s doubleheader. In the second game, Matt Andriese was removed after the first inning when he aggravated a groin injury that is likely to land him on the 10-day disabled list again.
“You probably got the sense that it wasn’t going to be the best game when we lose our starter before the second inning,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Pretty unfortunate there. We went to the bullpen quite a bit.”
In the first game of the doubleheader, closer Alex Colome, working for the third time in the past four games, blew his third save of the season.
The Athletics will try to build momentum off the doubleheader as they had 32 hits and 13 runs in the two games.
First baseman Yonder Alonso is one of the hottest hitters in the league and went 7-for-10 with two doubles on Saturday.
“It’s cool to have seven hits in a day but now I’ve got to worry about Sunday,” Alonso said. “That’s all that’s in my head right now.”
Oakland is starting to get more production in the bottom of the order as well. Ryon Healy went 4-for-10 with a home run in the doubleheader and Chad Pinder also hit a home run Saturday. Jaycob Brugman, who was called up from Triple-A Nashville on Friday, played center field and third base on Saturday and went 4-for-7 with two RBIs, the first RBIs of his career.
“I saw Brugman in spring training and I worked with him a little bit,” Alonso said. “I was able to watch his swing. I was able to see the way he carried himself. He’s a guy who’s going to grind at-bats and put the ball in play. A guy that will use the whole field.”
After exploding for 13 runs on Friday, the Rays will try to get their offense rolling again and hope to build off a strong Saturday by third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria had a walk-off single in the first game and hit his 250th career home run in the second game to snap a stretch of 10 games without a homer.
“It’s frustrating not playing well but that’s personal,” Longoria said. “I try not to bring it to the ballpark. We have a lot of guys having great seasons and I try to be a good teammate to them.”
The Athletics will have right hander Jesse Hahn (2-4, 4.30) on the mound. Hahn is 1-2 in his past three starts but gave up just one run, unearned, over six innings in a win against Toronto on Tuesday. Over his career, Hahn has started just once against the Rays with no decision and a 1.17 ERA. Archer, meanwhile, is 1-0 in his career in his one start against the A’s, with a 1.69 ERA