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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 1st (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (75-59) at Oakland Athletics (77-58), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Jamey Wright (2-2, 2.97) Oakland - A.J. Griffin (11-9, 3.94)
(Sports Network) - It will be all hands on deck for the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, as they give reliever Jamey Wright a spot start in an effort to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum.
Oakland has won the first two games of this series between the American League and on Saturday, Coco Crisp went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI to back 6 2/3 scoreless innings from Sonny Gray to help the A's to a 2-1 win.
Gray (2-2) gave up five hits while striking out seven for the Athletics, who are two games back of the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West.
"We're in a good position right now," Crisp said. "We just have to go out and continue to have fun."
Alex Cobb (8-3) got the start for Tampa Bay and gave up two runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking four over eight innings. The right-hander suffered his first loss since April 30 against Kansas City.
Desmond Jennings drove in the lone run for the Rays, who trail the Red Sox by 4 1/2 games in the AL East. They trail Oakland by 1 1/2 games for the AL's first Wild Card spot.
"The offense really needs to pick up a bit," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Now, the Rays turn to Wright, who is 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 54 appearances this season, but hasn't gone more than three innings in a single appearance. He also hasn't started a game since 2007 with the Rangers.
After posting a 6.63 ERA in three starts versus the Athletics, he has a 0.61 ERA against them in 15 relief appearances.
Meanwhile, heading to the hill for the A's on Sunday will be righty A.J. Griffin, who is 11-9 with a 3.94 ERA. Griffin won for the first time in five starts on Monday in Detroit, as he allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings.
"I was just trying to battle and keep the ball down good," Griffin said. "It's good to win, a good battle. It felt like a playoff atmosphere."
Tampa swept a three-game set from the A's earlier in the year and despite the two losses this weekend, has beaten them in six of the last 10 matchups.
09/01 10:26:13 ET