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A’s Ride Rookie Pitcher Spence, Andújar Home Run to Win Over Rays

A’s Ride Rookie Pitcher Spence, Andújar Home Run to Win Over Rays

Mitch Spence of the Oakland A's delivers against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., on May 28, 2024. (Chris O'Meara/AP Photo)

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

5/28/2024

Updated: 5/28/2024

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Rookie Mitch Spence took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, Miguel Andújar hit a three-run home run, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3–0 on Tuesday night.
Spence (4–2) had allowed just one base runner—a second-inning leadoff walk to Isaac Paredes—until José Caballero flared a single to center field with one out in the sixth.
“I noticed that they had no hits, but I was trying not to think about it,” said Spence, who threw a career-high 98 pitches. “But the biggest thing, like, when you know you’re kind of close to the end, I just try and go out by out. These are last guys I got to get, so I got to push a little extra.”
Oakland Manager Mark Kotsay said his rookie “was great.”
“Commanding the zone, being able to pitch to both sides, backdoor the cutter, and the slider to the lefties really helped him,” Mr. Kotsay said.
T.J. McFarland, Michael Kelly, and Mason Miller, who worked the ninth to get his 11th save in as many chances, completed a three-hitter.
Miller allowed a two-out single to Yandy Díaz and walked Brandon Lowe before striking out Paredes to end it.
Tampa Bay’s Zack Littell (2–3) gave up three unearned runs, five hits, and struck out nine over seven innings.
The A’s improved to 9–16 in May, while the Rays lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Spence was taken by Oakland from the New York Yankees in December’s Rule 5 draft. It was Spence’s 14th appearance this season, with three coming as a starter.
Oakland took a 3–0 lead in the sixth when one-time Yankees’ player Andújar went deep against Littell. It was Andújar’s third game this season after being out following right-knee surgery in March.
“Just a bad pitch,” Littell said. “Got away with a few throughout the game. By far, that was the worst.”
Andújar and Littell both spent part of the 2017 season with the Yankees’ Double-A team in Trenton, N.J.
A’s first baseman J.D. Davis with hit on the hand by an 89 mph pitch from Littell in the seventh. Davis stayed in to run the bases but was taken out defensively in the bottom half of the inning. He also got stepped on his leg by Tampa Bay’s Jonny DeLuca while taking a throw at first in the fifth.
Mr. Kotsay said Davis has a bruised hand and would undergo X-rays.
Miguel Andujar of the A's blows a bubble while rounding the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., on May 28, 2024. (Chris O'Meara/AP Photo)

Miguel Andujar of the A's blows a bubble while rounding the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., on May 28, 2024. (Chris O'Meara/AP Photo)

Trainer’s Room

Athletics: Right-hander Ross Stripling (right-elbow strain) has been shut down from throwing for seven to 10 days. … Left-hander Alex Wood (rotator-cuff tendinitis) could resume playing catch this weekend. … Infielder Aledmys Diaz (strained right calf) was reinstated from the 60-day injured list, and infielder Tyler Nevin was designated for assignment. Nevin is the son of former major leaguer Phil Nevin.
Rays: Opening-day starter Zach Eflin (lower-back inflammation) is set to have a bullpen session Thursday. … Outfielder Josh Lowe (right-oblique strain) had a full pregame workout.

Up Next

Oakland right-hander Joey Estes (1–1, 7.47 earned-run average) and Tampa Bay righty Ryan Pepiot (3–2, 3.98) are Wednesday night’s scheduled starters.
By Mark Didtler
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