American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, August 5 (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (54-58) at Oakland Athletics (68-43), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Drew Smyly (6-9, 3.93) Oakland - Jason Hammel (0-4, 9.53)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Drew Smyly makes his Tampa Bay Rays debut on Tuesday when they continue a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum.
Smyly was one of three players the Rays received in the three-team blockbuster that landed ace lefty David Price in Detroit. Smyly appeared in 21 games (18 starts) for the Tigers this season and was 6-9 with 3.93 ERA.
"You're not going to replace David Price," Smyly said. "The Rays made the trade, they wanted me, so I'm going to do the best I can and try to learn from them and get better every game. I'm just doing me."
He actually started for Detroit hours before the deal was consummated, but did not get a decision against Chicago, as the White Sox reached him for four runs and 11 hits in five innings of a 7-4 decision.
The Rays can only hope Smyly's acquisition works out better for them than the way Jason Hammel has panned out for Oakland. Picked up along with Jeff Samardzija back in early July from Chicago, Hammel has gone 0-4 since the trade and has pitched to a 9.53 ERA.
Hammel may have hit rock bottom on Wednesday in Houston, as the Astros tagged him for eight runs and seven hits in just 4 1/3 innings.
"Every ballplayer goes through something like this," said Hammel. "It's not always roses. It's that simple. You could be on top of the world one day and then on the bottom of the heap the next day. It's a matter of having confidence in myself and continuing to work hard. I keep saying it over and over again, but I'm not going to beat myself up."
Oakland stayed in sole possession of first place in the AL West with a hard- fought win on Monday.
With the Angels breathing down their necks for the division lead, the A's outlasted Tampa Bay, 3-2, thanks to Derek Norris' game-winning single in the 10th inning.
Oakland has been atop the division by themselves since April 27, but Monday's win by the Angels had them within a half-game of pulling even, pending on the outcome of the opener of this series.
In the deciding frame, Sam Fuld singled with one away against Grant Balfour (1-4), John Jaso earned a free pass and Josh Donaldson survived a check swing on a 2-2 pitch and a near catch on a foul ball to earn a walk and load the bases.
After Brandon Moss struck out, Norris shot a dribbler up the middle to drive in the winning run and send the A's to their eighth walk-off win of the season.
Jed Lowrie went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Ryan Cook (1-1) earned the win with a perfect inning of relief.
Oakland took two of three from the Rays earlier in the year at the Trop.
08/05 10:33:37 ET