Rays Recap: Bats Look To Remain Hot vs A’s

The Tampa Bay Rays bats woke up against the Baltimore Orioles, scoring 16 runs in the series, but still dropped two of three games.

It was the same results for the Rays, as they’ve now lost eight of the last 10 games, but a different story during this series.

Tampa Bay (5-10) had scored 10 runs in the seven games entering the series against the Orioles (8-7). The pitching staff, who had a 2.50 ERA in the four games entering the series, allowed 17 runs in three games, including 10 runs Thursday night.

Baltimore took the Rays to extra innings Thursday night in a game that was tied or changed leads seven times. In the bottom of the 10th inning Matt Wieters hit a walk-off grand slam, clinching the third consecutive series loss for the Rays.

In the last two games of the series, Tampa bay collected 22 hits, including six of their 10 home runs on the season.

But the surge in hitting didn’t translate to the pitching staff. David Price allowed five runs in six innings Friday night, raising his season ERA to 6.26.

Wednesday’s starter Matt Moore continues to be the best arm this season, improving to 3-0 on the season in the Rays 6-2 win Wednesday. Moore surrendered two runs in the outing, his first earned runs of the season, giving him a still minuscule 1.00 ERA.

The series wrapped up a nine game road trip for the Rays, where the team went 2-7 over that time. The team will return to Tampa Bay for a six game home stand, beginning with a series against the Oakland Athletics.

The Athletics (12-4) are coming off a three game sweep over the Houston Astros, and now boast the best record in the American League. Oakland has scored an AL-high 96 runs this season, and is tied for the AL lead with 20 home runs.

Friday night will feature a pair of young arms when Alex Cobb (1-1, 1.93 ERA) and Brett Anderson (1-2, 4.34 ERA) take the mound. In three career starts against the Rays, Anderson is 1-0, with Oakland going 2-1 in those games, while Cobb went 2-0 last season against Oakland.

Another pair of pitchers under-25 will make starts Saturday night with Jeremy Hellickson (0-1, 4.91 ERA) and Jarrod Parker (0-2, 10.80 ERA) on the rubber. Hellickson has only recorded a decision once in four starts against Oakland, which was a loss last season.

Tommy Milone (3-0, 3.86 ERA) will look to stay perfect on the season Sunday afternoon against Roberto Hernandez (0-3, 5.79 ERA).

Following the series with Oakland, Tampa Bay will welcome the New York Yankees to town for a three game set.

The Yankees learned Thursday evening they will be without Derek Jeter until at least after the All-Star break. Jeter, who is rehabbing a broken foot in Tampa Bay, was originally slated to return in early May.