Hammel finally victorious as A's blank Rays
Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Hammel finally got off the schneid in an Oakland uniform, pitching the A's to a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
Hammel (1-4), who lost each of his previous four starts with the Athletics since being acquired from the Cubs with Jeff Samardzija, held the Rays to seven hits and four walks over 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
"I thought he mixed in his pitches a lot better today," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Hammel. "He had to be really good."
Eight out of the nine Oakland players in the lineup registered a hit, with Coco Crisp, Nate Freiman and Josh Reddick recording an RBI for the AL West leaders, who moved two games ahead of the Angels.
Drew Smyly (6-10) made his Tampa Bay debut, allowing three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 frames. Smyly was acquired by the Rays at the trade deadline in a deal that sent ace David Price to Detroit.
Tampa Bay is 1-4 since the deadline and has lost five-of-six overall.
"When you don't score points everything else is magnified," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Desmond Jennings quite possibly cost the Rays a chance to open the scoring in the fifth. He led off with a walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Hammel. Ben Zobrist hit a sharp grounder to shortstop and Jennings got caught trying to advance. Eric Sogard flipped over to Josh Donaldson at third, easily getting Jennings for the first out of the frame. Evan Longoria singled two batters later before James Loney popped out with runners at the corners to end the inning.
Oakland finally broke the scoreless stalemate in the home half by using some small ball. Alberto Callaspo singled to center and moved to second on Sogard's sacrifice bunt. Crisp then shot a single through the hole on the right side that allowed Callaspo to race home. Kevin Kiermaier's throw was high and Smyly wasn't in the right position to back up the play which allowed Crisp to move to third.
Smyly dug in, however, striking out Sam Fuld and getting Donaldson to ground out to keep it a one-run game.
In the sixth, Derek Norris singled with one out and hustled around the bases when Freiman laced a double to left. Freiman, who advanced to third on the play, scored on Reddick's check-swing base hit to left that made it 3-0.
Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth to secure his 17th save of the season, tying Alan Embree for the most saves by a left-handed reliever in Oakland history.
Hammel last won on July 4 in a 7-2 decision at Washington ... Tampa Bay had three errors ... The Rays went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base ... Sogard was the only Athletics player without a hit, but the shortstop did convert two sacrifice bunts ... Oakland went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 on base.
08/06 02:56:43 ET