American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, August 24th
(All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (67-57) at Tampa Bay Rays (70-55), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Jarrod Parker (8-7, 3.48)
Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (10-7, 3.57)
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays are leading the American League's wild
card chase, but are inching closer to first place in the AL East as well.
They could make up more ground on Friday if Matt Moore can continue his
unbeaten streak in the middle portion of a three-game series against the
Oakland Athletics, who are one of a handful of teams also battling for a
Moore takes the hill having gone 4-0 with a 1.16 earned run average over his
last five starts and is coming off a win over the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim on Sunday. The young left-hander scattered a pair of solo homers over
6 1/3 innings, moving to 10-7 with a 3.57 earned run average in 24 starts.
"It's a different game when you have early run support," Moore said following
the 8-3 win. "I was able to attack with a few more fastballs. I was happy with
the tempo and the way things went."
The 23-year-old Moore got a rough introduction to this series back on May 6,
when he faced the Athletics for the first time. He was roughed up for eight
runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 2/3 frames, giving up five runs in the
The Rays, who currently hold the first wild card spot in the league, pulled to
within 2 1/2 games of the AL East-leading New York Yankees with a 5-0 win over
the A's in Thursday's opener. Alex Cobb bounced back from a rough outing to
log his first career shutout.
Cobb was touched for a career high-tying eight runs in a loss to the Angels
before holding Oakland to four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
"There was just an excitement all week," Cobb said. "I'm really happy I felt
that way toward it instead of being scared and wonder if I'm going to get hit
While Tampa Bay improved to 16-5 in August and won for the seventh time in
eight games, Oakland lost for just the second time in eight games. That has
the club tied with the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers for the second
wild card position.
The Rays did all their damage in the fifth inning, scoring five runs off
Oakland starter Tyson Ross, who was recalled from Triple-A to start in place
of Bartolo Colon. The veteran began serving a 50-game suspension on Wednesday
after violating the league's drug policy by testing positive for testosterone.
The A's now turn to their own youngster in 23-year-old Jarrod Parker, who
bounced back from a three-game slide in a big way with a win over the
Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Parker hurled eight scoreless innings of six-hit ball, getting his first win
since July 21 while improving to 8-7 with a 3.48 ERA in 21 games this season.
The right-hander didn't allow a run after watching Oakland score just once
over his three-game losing streak, one that began with a 4-1 defeat to the
visiting Rays on Aug. 1. Parker yielded three runs over six innings in that
Oakland and Tampa Bay split their first six meetings in 2012 prior to this
This series will conclude Saturday because the Rays' Tropicana Field is going
to host a party for the Republican National Convention on Sunday
08/24 10:45:44 ET