By Andrew Astleford and Jane Lee
MLB.com |@JaneMLB |
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays right-hander Matt Andriese was dominant in his second start of the season, firing a two-hit 6-0 shutout against the A's at Tropicana Field on Saturday night for the first nine-inning complete game of his career.
Andriese yielded two base hits, one each to Matt McBride and Danny Valencia, and put just one other runner on base via a hit-by-pitch, striking out five and handing Oakland its first shutout loss of the season.
"It felt great," Andriese said. "I'm kind of at a loss for words. That feeling I had there on the mound there in the ninth inning, with two strikes. Like I said, a little loss for words. It feels great, though."
Shortstop Brad Miller launched a two-run homer off A's starter Kendall Graveman in the third inning, and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier chipped in with an RBI base hit as part of a two-run sixth against Graveman, who was on the hook for four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings while falling to 1-5.
"Miller did a good job going down and hitting the home run," Graveman said. "It was down in the zone, good piece of hitting. You try to take away some positives from the night. I thought I threw a good changeup, kept some guys off balance, and hats off to the guy on the other side."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
"A" stuff from Andriese: Andriese's dominant outing will add to his momentum after he allowed just one run and four hits in seven innings in a victory over the Angels last Sunday. On Friday, Rays manager Kevin Cash hinted that the club expected an even higher ceiling for the right-hander after he impressed in Anaheim. On Saturday, that vision was realized.
"He controlled the game about as well as he could," Cash said. "He kept his pitch count down really low, and it was just, 'Let's see how each inning goes' from that point, as far as guys getting on base." More >
Missed opportunity: The A's were gifted a baserunner in the third inning, when Andriese hit Billy Burns with a pitch following McBride's single to put runners on first and second for a red-hot Yonder Alonso with two outs. But Alonso bit at the first pitch and popped it up into foul territory for the inning-ending out. Alonso, who had 11 hits in his first 25 at-bats on this trip, had his eight-game hitting streak snapped.
"He threw a good game," McBride said of Andriese. "He just got ahead, threw strikes and made his pitches."
Miller mash: Miller launched a two-run home run to right-center field in the third inning, giving the Rays a 2-0 lead. The hit helped ease the sting of a massive missed opportunity in the second, when Tampa Bay loaded the bases against Graveman with no outs but were unable to produce a run. More >
Graveman better: Though Graveman's final line wasn't overly encouraging, the right-hander did appear to have his bread-and-butter sinker working the way it should again. Graveman tallied eight groundball outs with the pitch, and manager Bob Melvin noted he was "better than his last several times out, for sure."
"I wanted to get the shape of my pitches back," said Graveman, who had allowed six runs in two of his last three starts. "That was the biggest thing, and I think that's what I did. We worked really hard this week to really get back on top of the baseball and get that sink, and it showed up."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Andriese was the first Rays starting pitcher to throw a complete game shutout since right-hander Chris Archer did so on Aug. 20, 2015, against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. This season, Andriese has two victories in two starts. Archer has two wins in eight.
WHAT'S NEXT A's: Right-hander Sonny Gray takes the mound in Sunday's 10:10 a.m. PT series finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field looking to rebound from a dismal three-start stretch. Gray has a 12.79 ERA and .362 opponents' batting average in that span. He's 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA in five career starts against Tampa Bay.
Rays: Tampa Bay will close its brief three-game stay at home with left-hander Matt Moore on the mound. Moore hasn't thrown more than 4 2/3 innings in his past two appearances. He's 1-3 with a 4.83 ERA this season, with losses in his past three decisions.