Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Taylor Walls, left, celebrates with second baseman Brandon Lowe after Walls made a diving stop on a ground ball by Kansas City Royals' Cam Gallagher during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Rays Face the Orioles and Athletics in First Homestand

The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a three-game series win against the Baltimore Orioles and are now taking on the Oakland Athletics. Let’s go over their past games and upcoming match-ups.

Rays Off to a Good Start

The Rays took an 8-0 victory Sunday over the Orioles in Tropicana Field that completed their season-opening sweep. Although the Orioles have finished in last place four of the five past seasons, Tampa Bay has now achieved 15 consecutive games against them.

The series opener win was due to outstanding pitching, impressive defense, and well-rounded offense. All weekend they had hardly any errors, no wild pitches, and no passed balls. Veteran Corey Kluber made his Ray debut Sunday where he pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, walked four, and struck out five in an 87-pitch outing. Before walking Cedric Mullins and giving a single to Ryan Mountcastle, Kluber retired the first two batters.

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The Rays have been adding in patient hitters including rookie Josh Lowe, Wander Franco, Yandy Diaz, and Ji-Man Choi. Brandon Lowe hit a two-run homer off Tyler Wells and Wander Franco had his second three-hit game in three days. Franco along with Quinton McCracken in 1998 and Steve Cox in 2001, are the only Rays with multiple three-hit games during the first three games of a season. They had a four-run seventh inning where nine batters went to the plate and nobody struck out.

Meanwhile, the Rays pitchers allowed the fewest amount of runs over the first three games of any season. They let only four runs take place this weekend and piled up a total of 37 strikeouts. Their starters also only allowed two runs in 13 innings.

It is the first time the Rays have started a season 3-0 since 2012, and the third time in the franchise’s 25-year history. Could they replicate their 2021’a 100-win season?

Oakland Athletics Hand the Rays Their First Loss

The A’s beat the Rays 13-2 Monday night in a tough match-up. Immediately Rays starter Luis Patino strained his left oblique in the first inning. Chris Mazza replaced Patino and had two outs, an 0-2 count on Sean Murphy, and hit the catcher with his first pitch. Following, Seth Brown hit his three-run shot and Chad Pinder followed with a solo drive, which put 4-0 on the scoreboard. Oakland then led 8-0 after Andrus hit a three-run drive in the second off Mazza.

Falling behind 9-1, outfielder Brett Phillips was put in for the final two innings. Phillips got a double-play grounder to end the inning during the eighth inning and made a spectacular catch on Brown’s foul ball before giving Sheldon Neuse his first career grand slam with two out in the ninth.

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The whole situation was rocky for the Rays, but they still have three more back-to-back battles left against the A’s. Their next game is set for April 12th at 6:40 p.m. and then again on April 13 at the same time.

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