American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, May 6th
(All times eastern)
Oakland Athletics (14-14) at Tampa Bay Rays (19-9), 1:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Tommy Milone (3-2, 3.69)
Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (1-1, 4.20)
(Sports Network) - The team with the most wins in all of baseball again shoots
for number 20 this afternoon when the Tampa Bay Rays close out a three-game
set against the Oakland Athletics at Tropicana Field.
Winners of six in a row entering play on Saturday, the Rays tried to put some
more distance between themselves and the rest of the American League East as
they took the field in what was Joe Maddon's 1,000th game as manager.
Unfortunately, the hosts were taken to extra innings by Oakland and ended up
suffering the 4-3 loss.
After making a leaping catch against the wall in the 10th inning to keep hope
alive, A's left fielder Jonny Gomes belted a solo home run in the top of the
12th which proved to be the game-winner for the visitors. Josh Reddick
delivered a home run of his own for Oakland, plating a pair of runs as the
team won for the third time in four tries. Daric Barton added three hits, a
walk and a run scored.
Oakland starter Bartolo Colon gave up three runs on eight hits and a pair of
walks, striking out two, in five innings of action, while Brian Fuentes was
credited with the win and Grant Balfour notched his seventh save of the
Elliot Johnson, Carlos Pena and Ben Zobrist each stroked solo home runs for a
Tampa Bay squad which is now just a half game ahead of surprising Baltimore
for first place in the AL East. Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was chased
after 3 2/3 innings as he permitted three runs on five hits and three walks.
Joel Peralta, the seventh pitcher used by the hosts, was charged with the
loss, his first of the season.
"My fastball command just wasn't there," said Hellickson after only 59 of his
102 pitches went for strikes. "I felt fine, but I just had a tough time being
consistent with the fastball."
Heading to the hill for the hosts this afternoon will be Matt Moore as he
tries to follow up his first win of the season on Tuesday against Seattle.
Mariners batters produced seven hits in five innings against the left-hander,
but only one run as Moore struck out a season-best seven.
The Florida native is in just his second year in the majors and is making his
first-ever appearance against Oakland today.
As for the A's, they too have a youngster toeing the rubber this time around
in second-year man Tommy Milone. The 25-year old left-hander had won back-to-
back outings heading into the week but then ran into a resurgent Boston squad
at Fenway Park.
Against the Red Sox Milone was tagged for seven earned runs on eight hits,
striking out five, in just 4 2/3 innings of work as he suffered his second
loss of the campaign. Milone, who was on the Washington staff last season, is
making his first-ever appearance against the Rays.
Oakland, which is 8-7 on the road at the moment, is sitting in second place in
the AL West just 4 1/2 games off the pace even though the club is a mere 14-14
on the year. Holding the squad back is a collective batting average of just
.211 which is by far the weakest in the AL and last among all 30 teams in the
majors. Add to that an on-base percentage (.281) and slugging (.331) that are
also last in the majors and it is surprising that the A's can remain
Maddon is now the fifth manager in the modern era to manage at least 1,000
games for one team without ever playing in the majors. The others are Earl
Weaver (Orioles), Joe McCarthy (Yankees), Jim Leyland (Pirates) and Danny
Ozark (Phillies). Maddon also joined Mike Scioscia (Angels), Ron Gardenhire
(Twins) and Charlie Manuel (Phillies) as the only managers with at least 1,000
games with their current teams.
05/06 10:29:26 ET