ATHLETICS (34-34) AT RAYS (41-25)
12:10 p.m. ET; FS-SUN, MLBN, MLB.TV
The Oakland Athletics are hoping streaky Khris Davis can continue his roll against Tampa Bay’s leader in home runs allowed when the clubs complete a three-game series on the Rays’ home field on Wednesday afternoon.
Home runs have been the story of the last two nights, with Brandon Lowe, Kevin Kiermaier and Ji-Man Choi each contributing a two-run shot to a 6-2 Rays win in the opener, before Matt Olson and Davis went back-to-back to send the A’s to a 4-3 win on Tuesday.
The homer for Davis was his second in the last three games, after he’d gone his previous 34 games with just two. He began the season with 10 homers in his first 17 games.
Davis will take his cracks in the series finale at right-hander Yonny Chirinos (7-2, 2.87), who has done just about everything right in 2019 except avoid the long ball. He’s served up 10 this season, including six in his seven starts.
He kept the ball in the ballpark in his last start, and it helped produce a career-best result. The 25-year-old threw eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits, in a 5-1 win at Boston on Friday.
Both the eight innings and 101 pitches thrown were career-highs.
“They didn’t have much chance tonight,” teammate Kevin Kiermaier gushed afterward. “That was about as impressive as I’ve ever seen him throw. We needed that. Coming into a tough place to play, him shutting down that great offense like that is a lot easier said than done, but he went out and did just that.
“He’s been great for us all year, but tonight he was on another level.”
Chirinos has faced the A’s just once in his career. He gave up a home run to Olson in a 7-5 Rays home win last September in which he did not get a decision after allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Davis went 0-for-5 in the game with three strikeouts.
“My power, it comes and it goes,” Davis admitted on the A’s current trip. “Just got to stay within myself.”
Chirinos doesn’t have just Davis to worry about Wednesday. Olson’s homer in Tuesday’s win was his third in the last five games. His last six homers have driven in at least two runs each.
The A’s will send left-hander Brett Anderson (6-4, 3.98) in search for a series win that would allow Oakland to complete its 10-game trip with a winning record.
Anderson pitched one of the A’s five wins in nine games on the trip, a 5-3 victory Friday at Texas. He did not get a decision, allowing three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The 31-year-old has gone 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in four career starts against Tampa Bay, but that’s ancient history. He hasn’t faced the Rays since 2013.
The A’s have gotten great starting pitching in the first two games of the series, with Tanner Anderson (two runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings) and Mike Fiers (two runs and three hits in six innings) holding the Rays to a total of just four runs.
–Field Level Media