Athletics-Rays Preview

BY foxsports • May 14, 2016

Matt Andriese doesn't know what the Tampa Bay Rays' plans are for him beyond this start and, frankly, neither do they. All he's focused on is performing as well as he did in his first outing.

Kendall Graveman is trying to forget nearly everything he's done on the mound over the last two-plus weeks and move on to better days. He'll have another chance to get back on track Saturday night in Tampa as the Oakland Athletics look to hand the Rays a fifth straight defeat.

Andriese was impressive in his season debut Sunday, giving up one run and four hits in a career-high seven innings of a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels. He was recalled from Triple-A Durham on Friday and made the cross-country flight.

Manager Kevin Cash decided to give the right-hander another opportunity, meaning Erasmo Ramirez is likely to remain in the bullpen for the time being. Cash said there's no specific plan moving forward for Andriese.

"They just said they were going to keep me in the rotation," Andriese told MLB's official website. "I'm pretty happy about it. I can get in a good routine and go from there. ... They told me I've got another start. That's all I can really worry about."

Andriese faced Oakland out of the bullpen Aug. 23, giving up two runs and four hits in just two-thirds of an inning. Graveman started that contest for the A's, one of two times he pitched six scoreless innings against the Rays last season.

Graveman (1-4, 5.74 ERA) is hoping another matchup with Tampa Bay will him get over his recent problems. He posted a 2.04 ERA over his three starts but has fallen off dramatically, losing each of his last three with a 10.54 ERA.

He's given up six runs twice in that stretch, including Sunday when Baltimore hit four homers off him in 2 2/3 innings of an 11-3 defeat. The right-hander also walked three while giving up the most homers of his career.

"For me, especially with righties, I gotta be able to sink the ball in and get the ground ball, and it just didn't, and they were able to lift some balls in the air and get it out of the park," Graveman said. "I have to continue to make pitches and change speeds and go back to work and get on top of the baseball with my sinker."

Oakland (15-21) snapped a five-game skid with Friday's 6-3 victory in the series opener. It was outscored 51-18 in the previous four, allowing at least 11 runs in four straight for the first time in franchise history.

The A's also were the first team to give up at least 13 runs in three straight since the Chicago White Sox in 1999, but Rich Hill pitched six solid innings to beat the Rays (15-18). Danny Valencia hit a pair of solo homers and Khris Davis added a three-run shot to help provide the offense.

Valencia, who sat out the previous two with a hamstring injury, also made a diving play in the ninth to rob Evan Longoria of a hit with the bases loaded.

"I've had a zero in (the home run) column and it's the middle of May so it's definitely nice to get in that column finally," Valencia said.

Tampa has allowed at least five runs each time during its four-game skid. Longoria, Steve Pearce and Steven Souza Jr. drove in runs Friday for the Rays, who finished with only five hits.

Second baseman Logan Forsythe sat out a third straight game with a shoulder injury.



share story