MLB Game Preview - Tampa Bay at Oakland
Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:07 PM EDT

NYM
5
CHC
4
F
SD
1
PIT
2
F
MIA
2
PHI
1
F
ATL
3
WAS
4
F
HOU
1
NYY
4
F
TOR
5
BOS
7
F(10)
DET
6
CLE
7
F
CHW
5
TEX
4
F(10)
CIN
11
MIL
7
F
LAA
1
STL
5
F
MIN
8
KC
7
F
SF
11
ARI
5
F
TB
5
OAK
3
F
BAL
9
SEA
10
F
COL
2
LAD
4
F
Rays trying to make right moves vs. A's
Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:04 AM

Rays trying to make right moves vs. A's

Two teams with stadium issues continue a four-game series at one of baseball's most outdated venues when the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics duel at the Oakland Coliseum on Friday night.

The Rays had trouble brushing aside talk of splitting home dates between St. Petersburg, Fla., and Montreal in the series opener, giving up a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning and watching the A's walk off with a 5-4 win on Matt Chapman's three-run home run.

Before the game, the opener of a rematch of a three-game set the A's won 2-1 last week in Florida, Rays players had trouble focusing on the task at hand following news that ownership might be considering playing "home" games in Montreal in the future.

"It's certainly a new concept," infielder Joey Wendle admitted. "I've never heard of anything quite like that proposed before. I think there would probably be some challenges logistically, in terms of how we get places where we live. A lot of us have families with children, so that adds a whole 'nother level of difficulty. It's definitely an interesting proposition."

Talk of moving surely is nothing new to the A's, who are in the process of checking out local sites on which to build a possible replacement for the two-sport Coliseum, one of just three major league venues that continue to have the bullpens along the field of play.

On Thursday, the Rays hit like they were distracted by their hometown news for eight innings, limited to one run and four hits by A's right-hander Frankie Montas.

But Tampa Bay caught a break when, in a 1-1 tie, A's closer Blake Treinen walked the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning, setting the stage for a three-run uprising.

Then, just when it appeared the A's would continue a roller-coaster ride of a season with a loss following a three-game winning streak, Chapman came through with the club's fifth walk-off win of the year.

The momentum-sustaining finish was exactly what A's manager Bob Melvin had hoped to see when discussing his hot team on the eve of the series.

The season has been a series of ups and corresponding downs for the A's. Despite five winning streaks of three or more games --- including a 10-gamer and their current four-gamer - they find themselves just four games over .500 at 40-36 as the midpoint of the season approaches.

"We'd like to be able to sustain it," Melvin said of a run of six wins in eight games headed into the series. "We had the one 10-game winning streak where everything was hitting on all cylinders and we were playing really well, and then we couldn't follow it up. We lost five in a row after that. So we have to sustain it."

The A's will look to rookie right-hander Tanner Anderson (0-1, 3.27) to keep the club rolling in a positive direction in the second game of the series on Friday.

Anderson made his A's debut in a 6-2 loss at Tampa Bay on June 10, getting the loss while charged with two runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings. He was making his first big-league start.

The Rays announced after Thursday's loss that they'll use an "opener," right-hander Andrew Kittredge (0-0, 5.40), in hopes of ending a four-game skid.

The 29-year-old will make just his second appearance of the season. He threw 1 2/3 innings of relief Tuesday in a 6-3 loss to the New York Yankees.

He's 2-0 in his career against the A's with a 2.25 ERA in five games, all in relief.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
Tampa Bay            
Oakland            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Andrew Kittredge - TB
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Oakland
Tanner Anderson - OAK
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Tampa Bay

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report