Rays Tee Off on A's Pitching, Take First Game of Series

The A’s are gearing up for a long day of baseball with Saturday’s doubleheader at Tropicana Field.

That’ll give them the opportunity to forget what went down Friday night.

The Tampa Bay Rays bashed five homers off Oakland pitching and routed the A’s 13-4 to open a four-game series that features the rare scheduled doubleheader Saturday.

The A’s came in an American League-worst 8-20 on the road, and this was hardly the performance they were looking for as they look to reverse their course away from the Coliseum. Tampa Bay scored in each of the first five innings and chased A’s starter Andrew Triggs by the fourth. The right-hander was charged with eight runs on nine hits.

If the quickest way to forget such a game is to get right back on the field, the A’s will get that chance. Saturday’s twin bill will be Oakland’s first scheduled doubleheader on the road since 2001.

Triggs trending the wrong direction: The right-hander had a 2.12 ERA after his May 16 start against Seattle. Since then, he’s posted an 0-4 record and 9.64 ERA over four outings (20 ER in 18 2/3 IP) and will need to turn things around quickly if he’s going to remain in the rotation. Things started rough in the first when he walked two of his first four batters, then gave up Steven Souza’s three-run homer. Mallex Smith added a two-run shot in the fourth, when Triggs was lifted with two outs.

Rays back up the numbers: This series pits two of the majors’ top slugging teams. The Rays came in second in the bigs with 92 homers and the A’s were fifth with 87. Then the home team went out and showed exactly how it accumulated those numbers. After Souza’s three-run shot in the first, Smith added his two-run shot in the fourth and Logan Morrison a solo shot off Triggs. It didn’t get better for Zach Neal, who allowed Tim Beckham’s homer in the fifth and Corey Dickerson’s three-run shot later in the inning.

Smith is a super sub: The Rays, who moved to a game above .500 as they try to make up ground in the AL East, suffered a major setback when center fielder Kevin Kiermaier fractured his hip Thursday and will miss at least six to eight weeks. But Smith filled in Friday and went 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Brugman’s crazy debut: Outfielder Jaycob Brugman made his major league debut with a start in left field for the A’s. He went 0-for-4 but he’ll never forget a moment in the fourth, when Souza hit a ball off a catwalk high above Tropicana Field that went for a triple. Balls that hit the catwalk are in play if they strike it in foul terroritiroy, and Krugman tried to follow the path of the ball off the ricochet but couldnt’ make the catch as it fell to the ground.

Vogt provides a highlight: Stephen Vogt hit his fourth homer to provide a highlight for the A’s in the seventh.

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