Andriese steps up for Rays in solid spot start

Briefly back in rotation for twin bill, righty allows two runs over 4 2/3 innings

Andriese steps up for Rays in solid spot start

BALTIMORE -- Nobody knew exactly what to expect from Matt Andriese on Saturday.

The right-hander had not made a start since June 10. After that, the Rays decided to move him to the bullpen and bring Blake Snell to the Major Leagues -- a decision that looked odd, given the fact that Andriese had a 5-0 record at the time.

But Tampa Bay needed bullpen help and Andriese had experience in relief, so the decision was made. He started Saturday's 5-0 loss to the Orioles in the first game of the day/night doubleheader because the Rays needed an extra starter.

Even Andriese wasn't sure how deep into the game he could pitch, though he told reporters he was confident he could handle the assignment.

Though Andriese took his first loss of the season, he looked every bit as solid in his starting role as he had earlier in the season. He allowed two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five in 4 2/3 innings.

"I was just trying to go out there and compete as long as can and go as deep as I possibly could," Andriese said. "It was kind of a quick turnaround, in a sense. I threw [on Wednesday against the Indians], 36 pitches. Then having the off-day. An off-day is an off-day for rest, but you don't get anything done."

Andriese exited the game after his 78th pitch when he walked Hyun Soo Kim.

"I shouldn't have walked the dude," Andriese said. "I'm sure that would have been it too if I got Kim out. But down 2-0, there's no reason to push. I'd already thrown [78] pitches."

Andriese said he considered Saturday afternoon's assignment a "pretty strong outing, considering I haven't started in two weeks."

Rays manager Kevin Cash agreed with Andriese's assessment.

"I thought Matt Andriese did a nice job given the recent workload," Cash said. "He gave us everything he had. One inning [when the Orioles scored twice in the second] basically was the outcome right there. But made some good pitches, definitely."

Cash allowed that his "assumption" was that Andriese would go back to the bullpen.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.