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Still Unblemished: Rays Shut Out A’s To Go To 8-0

photo: Tampa Bay Rays/Instagram

The Oakland Athletics could not stop the Tampa Bay Rays’ victory train Saturday, as Jeffrey Springs threw seven shutout innings, and Rays hitters needed just eight hits to score 11 runs, shutting out the A’s 11-0 at Tropicana Field for their eighth consective victory to begin the 2023 season.

Springs found himself in trouble just once, as in the second inning he allowed a pair of walks to Jesus Aguilar and Brent Rooker, and a two-out base hit from Jace Peterson.  But Luke Raley would throw out Aguilar at the plate to end the inning and preserve the shutout.

Meanwhile A’s starter Shintaro Fujinami kept Tampa Bay’s hitters off balance the first time through the order, but after Francisco Mejia drew a walk in the third inning, things began to change.  An inning later, the Rays would break the stalemate as Brandon Lowe drew a leadoff walk, moved up into scoring position on a one-out single by Wander Franco, and took third on a grounout by Raley.  Isaac Paredes would then single in both runners to give Tampa Bay more than enough offense.

But the Rays would not let up on Oakland’s pitching.  Randy Arozarena would end Fujinami’s night with a two-run single in the fifth, and reliever Sam Moll would end up allowing Brandon Lowe to score after hitting both Harold Ramirez and Paredes with pitches to force in a run to make it 5-0.

The power display would start in the sixth, with Manuel Margot hitting his second home run of the year, a solo shot off Domingo Acevedo, and Lowe would blast a three-run shot off Acevedo later in the frame.

Arozarena capped the scoring in the eighth, taking catcher Carlos Perez deep for a two-run blast, his second of the season.

The Rays can make it three consecutive sweeps with a win in Sunday afternoon’s finale, as Drew Rasmussen (1-0, 0.00 ERA) takes on James Kaprelian (0-0, 9.00 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 1:10.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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