American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 20th (All times eastern)
Oakland Athletics (28-16) at Tampa Bay Rays (19-26), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Drew Pomeranz (3-1, 1.14) Tampa Bay - Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 4.89)
(SportsNetwork.com) - A streaking first-place team meets a tumbling last-place foe on Tuesday night when the Oakland Athletics visit the Tampa Bay Rays to begin a three-game series at Tropicana Field.
Oakland is the early-season pace-setter in the American League West and has opened a four-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, thanks to a stretch of nine wins in 10 games. Meanwhile, the Rays are mired in fifth in the AL East, two games behind fourth-place Boston and five games behind the front-running New York Yankees.
Tampa Bay has lost seven of its last eight home games.
The Athletics, who lead the league with 235 runs in 44 games and have scored 43 times in their last five games, go with southpaw Drew Pomeranz -- who'll start for the third time after beginning the 2014 season as a reliever.
He's been strong in his initial two starts, allowing just five hits across 10 scoreless innings in a pair of victories.
In his last outing on Tuesday, he struck out eight and gave up three hits in an 11-0 defeat of the Chicago White Sox.
Tampa Bay has scored just 14 runs in its last six games.
The Rays counter with righty Jake Odorizzi, who meets the Athletics for the first time.
He has tossed 11 consecutive scoreless innings of his own over his last two starts, including a 2-0 defeat of Seattle on Wednesday in which he pitched six innings, allowed one hit and struck out seven.
In his initial six starts this season, he posted a 6.83 earned run average.
On Sunday in Cleveland, Yoenis Cespedes drove in a career-high five runs to help the Athletics complete a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 13-3 victory.
Brandon Moss finished 3-for-3 with three RBI and scored four times, and John Jaso and Josh Reddick each drove in two runs for the A's, who outscored Cleveland, 30-6, in the series.
"It's a great way to start the road trip, swing the bats around and really get contributions from everybody," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said.
Jesse Chavez (4-1) allowed two runs on six hits and three walks while fanning six over five solid innings. It was his second straight win and third in his last four starts.
In Anaheim, Albert Pujols had a pair of solo home runs among his three hits to help guide the LA Angels of Anaheim to a 6-2 victory over the Rays in the finale of a four-game series.
David Price (4-4), who was coming off his second complete game of the season, was tagged for six runs -- five earned -- on a season-high 11 hits to absorb the loss.
"Price had good stuff today but the Angels hit well. David did not throw the ball badly, we're just not hitting," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Kevin Kiermaier stroked his first career home run, a two-run shot in the seventh for Tampa Bay.
05/20 10:29:25 ET