Rays look to keep offense churning vs. A’s

MLB Baseball

The Tampa Bay Rays recorded just their second win in six outings Tuesday, claiming a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Tampa Bay’s third contest of the four-game series against Oakland is Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Rays manager Kevin Cash was glad to see his offense finally come to life, including a run right off the bat in the first inning.

“We needed to get something going,” Cash said. “It was nice to have some better at-bats.”

The Rays on Wednesday will turn to right-hander Tyler Glasnow (2-1, 2.05 ERA), who has emerged as the rotation’s ace with several dominant outings before enduring a hiccup last time out.

The 6-foot-8 Glasnow was not as overpowering as he was in his first four starts. He yielded five runs to Toronto in Friday night’s 5-3 home loss to the Blue Jays.

In between allowing home runs in the first and sixth innings, Glasnow settled down and allowed just five hits in his six-inning start. He also struck out 10, marking his second game with a double-digit strikeout total.

“I was just (mad) the whole time, but I know I had to go out and keep my pitch count down,” Glasnow said. “I wanted to go and get six innings, for sure. That was pretty much the only thing on my mind, so I tried to be as efficient as I could.”

With his club winning 14 of its last 16 games, Oakland manager Bob Melvin will look for another victory when he sends out left-hander Cole Irvin (2-2, 3.86) on Wednesday.

Following two years with Philadelphia, the 27-year-old Irvin has found his niche as a starter after working mostly out of the bullpen for the Phillies.

The former Oregon standout appeared in 19 games for the National League East club, making just three starts and posting poor results — a 2-2 record with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

A fifth-round selection by the Phillies in the 2016 draft, Irvin impressed the A’s with a strong spring training. He posted a 1-1 record with a 1.00 ERA, but, more importantly, he struck out 18 and surrendered just 10 hits in 18 innings.

“We didn’t know a ton about him coming into spring,” Melvin said. “Battled for that job, won it at the end, and keeps going out there and giving us reasons to run him back out there.”

Catcher Sean Murphy homered for the second consecutive game on Tuesday, and the A’s battled back to take a 2-1 lead on Mitch Moreland’s sacrifice fly.

However, Oakland mustered just eight hits and went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position — though its pitching held Tampa Bay to a paltry 1-for-12 in the same scenario.

Matt Olson went 2-for-4 with a double to boost his average to a team-leading .312.

Also, the A’s announced right-hander Mike Fiers, usually a starter, has accepted the task of pitching in relief.

“It hurts,” said Fiers, who will be stretched out and ready for any situation.

–Field Level Media

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