After two days of next to nothing offensively, the Rays had just enough offense Tuesday night to beat the Oakland A’s 4-3 in front of 2900 fans at Tropicana Field.
Rich Hill had his best outing in a Rays uniform on Monday night striking out 10 and walking two in five innings, but got very little offensive support in the 2-1 loss.
Tuesday night Michal Wacha had his best outing year to date as he worked five innings giving up one run and striking out two in the Rays 4-3 win.
Brett Phillips hit a two run home run in the sixth inning that gave the Rays a 3-2 lead. The Rays would get the go-ahead run in the seventh on a Joey Wendle single to put the Rays up 4-2.
A solo homer by Sean Murphy in the ninth would make it 4-3.
Phillips and the rest of the Rays offense has struggled all season to get going. Phillips talked after the game the good feeling of being able to contribute.
“Hits like that kind of reassure you to keep doing your work. It feels good to contribute. I got lucky and put a good swing on it.”
Randy Arozarena, the lading candidate for ROY had one hot and an RBI and is hitting .302 on the season.
The biggest surprise offensively for this Rays team has been the hot bat of catcher Francisco Meija.
Meija had three hits in four at bats in the Rays 4-3 win to raise his average to .311 on the season.
The A’s have been the hottest team in baseball to start the season coming to Tampa, winning 12 out of 13. this was the A’s first one run loss of the season.
Rays manager Kevin Cash shuffled the lineup to try to ignite a spark to get the struggling Rays offense going.
Kevin Keirmaier was moved to the leadoff spot with Brandon Lowe hitting second. Austin Meadows had been hitting leadoff and also hitting in the number two spot was moved to fourth.
Cash talked about the move of Keirmaier to the lead-off spot.
“He does a lot of things that guys at the top do well. He puts the ball in play, he gets on base, and he’s doing it right now. He’s been having some good at bats.”
“We’re just trying to get the guys that might be seeing the ball a little bit better at the top. But, yeah, shake it up and see if that can jump-start our offense a little bit. Been fairly quiet the last couple days. And maybe he can provide a spark.”
The Rays are ninth in the American League with .228 batting average.
The Rays will continue their series at home tonight against the A’s with Tyler Glasnow on the mound for the Rays.
—The Rays have recalled Shane McClanahan from their Minor League camp and he will get the start Thursday night against Oakland.