Tampa Bay Rays

Former Giants closer plays 3B for Rays, records save vs Yankees

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AP

Former Giants closer plays 3B for Rays, records save vs Yankees

With a one-run lead in the top of the ninth inning against the Yankees, the Rays brought in lefty reliever Jonny Venters to face Greg Bird. This all makes sense as Bird struggles mightily against left-handed pitching. What comes next is where the story really starts. 

Venters replaced Forever Giant Sergio Romo on the mound after Romo faced Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres in the eighth. Except instead of walking back to the dugout, Romo stopped at third base. Literally. 

Romo replaced fellow Forever Giant Matt Duffy at third base and Duffy slid over to shortstop. After Venters got Bird to ground out, Romo was then back on the mound with Duffy going back to third base. 

Once he was back on the bump, Romo made the final two outs of the game and earned his 12th save of the season. 

Stay weird, Rays. 

A's, Mengden wrap up May with dominant win

A's, Mengden wrap up May with dominant win

OAKLAND -- Daniel Mengden allowed three runs over eight innings and the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 on Thursday to avoid a four-game sweep.

Matt OlsonMatt Chapman and Matt Joyce all homered, providing some much-needed punch to an offense that had sputtered since their leading home run hitter Khris Davis went on the disabled list 10 days earlier.

Davis was activated before the game and doubled and scored as part of a three-run second inning to help Oakland end a three-game losing streak.

Joey Wendle had three hits for Tampa Bay.

A's shortstop Chad Pinder preserved the win when he made an over-the-shoulder catch on Johnny Field's pop-up in the ninth. The ball bounced out of Pinder's glove, but he caught it bare-handed for the final out.

The Rays had won five straight and outscored the A's 11-3 through the first three games of the series before getting shut down by Mengden.

Coming off his second career shutout, Mengden (6-4) was dominant most of the game against Tampa Bay. He gave up six hits, struck out five and extended his scoreless streak to a career-high 25 innings before giving up three straight hits, including a two-run double by Wilson Ramos in the ninth.

It's the longest scoreless streak by any A's pitcher since former closer Sean Doolittle went 26 1/3 innings in 2014. Mengden's run is also the best by an Oakland starting pitcher since Cory Lidle's 32-inning streak in 2002.

Josh Lucas replaced Mengden and retired two hitters. Blake Treinen got Field to pop out to shortstop for his 13th save.

Olson and Chapman hit solo home runs in the seventh off Ryan Yarbrough. Joyce added a two-run shot in the eighth off Vidal Nuno.

Ryne Stanek (1-1) started for Tampa Bay and retired four batters in his second major league start. Stanek earned his first career win Monday in relief.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: Right fielder Carlos Gomez (groin) was held out of the starting lineup. Gomez tweaked the injury legging out a triple Wednesday night. ... Third baseman Matt Duffy was given the day off.

Athletics: Right-hander Santiago Casilla (shoulder strain) has been playing catch and the team expects to make a decision in the next few days when to send the veteran reliever on a rehab assignment. ... RHP Carlos Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.

UP NEXT

Rays: The team hasn't announced who will start Friday's series opener in Seattle, although manager Kevin Cash is leaning toward having reliever Sergio Romo go. Romo made four starts in a nine-day period from May 19-27.

Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (1-0, 1.50 ERA) makes his second start for Oakland in Kansas City on Friday. Montas set career highs for innings pitched (six) and strikeouts (seven) in his A's debut against Arizona last Sunday.

A's get one-hit by Rays, commit four errors in third straight loss

A's get one-hit by Rays, commit four errors in third straight loss

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Even though he knew it was the best move to make, Tampa Bay right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was not happy when Kevin Cash pulled him after six innings. He even had to be prodded to shake his manager's hand.

Coming off a second Tommy John surgery, Eovaldi understood why. He just didn't like it at the time.

Eovaldi pitched six innings of no-hit ball in his return to the majors, leading the Rays to a 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

"I didn't want to shake his hand," Eovaldi said. "I haven't gone seven innings in a really long time. So we played it safe and it was good. I would have liked to stay out there until I gave up a hit but I understand the situation as well."

Eovaldi (1-0) routinely clocked in the high 90s with his fastball and faced one over the minimum through six innings in his Tampa Bay debut. He threw 70 pitches and had four strikeouts. The only runner to reach base against him was Matt Chapman, who drew a one-out walk in the first.

Cash said he debated sending Eovaldi out for the seventh.

"It was tough, there was no doubt, but we have to do what's right by him," Cash said. "He wanted to stay but realistically he's not getting to the ninth inning. I'll just blame (pitching coach Kyle Snyder). I wanted to keep pitching him but Kyle told me to pull him."

Wilmer Font, acquired by the Rays from the A's last Friday, gave up Jed Lowrie's one-out single in the seventh for Oakland's only hit of the game. Vidal Nuno got the last three outs to finish the one-hitter.

Rob Refsnyder hit a three-run home run off A's starter Sean Manaea (5-6), and Johnny Field also homered for the Rays.

The game drew an announced crowd of 6,295, the smallest at the Coliseum since April 3, 2003.

Eovaldi last pitched in the majors on Aug. 10, 2016, for the Yankees. Nine days later, he underwent a second elbow surgery. Eovaldi also had Tommy John surgery in 2007 when he was a junior in high school.

The 28-year-old missed the first month of this season after undergoing surgery March 30 to remove loose bodies in his elbow. Eovaldi made four rehab starts in the minors before being activated off the disabled list before Wednesday's game.

"It felt great being out there," Eovaldi said. "I was so focused on just getting that first out. After I got it, the emotions kind of got to me. I was a little nervous out there. Then I was able to regroup and slow back down."

Eovaldi, the 12th pitcher in major league history to start in the majors after having two Tommy John surgeries, induced seven groundouts and retired the final 17 batters he faced following the walk to Chapman.

"I think we pushed him about as much as we wanted to," Cash said.

Font then came in and retired Chapman on a liner to shortstop in the seventh before Lowrie pushed a single up the middle.

Nuno replaced Font in the ninth and gave up a leadoff walk to Chad Pinder, then retired the next three batters.

That was all the offense the A's could muster while being shut out by the Rays for the second time in three games.

"Honestly, those guys over there, they're pitching great," Oakland shortstop Chad Pinder said. "Those guys aren't a walk in the park, and they're locating and they're making all their pitches work. Hitting's hard enough as it is."

Oakland went into the game batting .216 in May, the second-lowest average in the majors.

STRUGGLING SEAN:
Manaea allowed four runs in five innings. After going 4-1 with 1.00 ERA through his first six starts that included the majors' first no-hitter this season on Apri 21, the big left-hander has been in a tailspin.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Athletics: INF Marcus Semien was placed on the paternity leave list before the game. Pinder started at shortstop in Semien's absence. RHP Josh Lucas was called up from Triple-A Nashville. ... RHP Liam Hendriks began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville.

UP NEXT:
Tampa Bay RHP Ryne Stanek (1-0, 3.24 ERA) will make his second career start, three days after getting a win coming out of the bullpen. RHP Daniel Mengden (5-4, 2.85) goes for Oakland.