Rays at Athletics
The Tampa Bay Rays look to inch closer to first place in the American League East when they visit the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday for the middle contest of their three-game set. Tampa Bay climbed within two games of Boston for the top spot in the division after edging Oakland 3-2 in the series opener.
Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 10 games while Adeiny Hechavarria also recorded a pair of hits, matching the total of the Athletics' entire lineup. Longoria has collected four multi-hit performances during his streak and is 5-for-8 over his last two contests. One of Oakland's hits came in the ninth inning, when All-Star Yonder Alonso led off with a double and scored on a wild pitch to tighten things up. Khris Davis belted his team-leading 26th home run to improve to 4-for-11 with two blasts and three RBIs over his last three contests as the Athletics fell to 3-1 on their six-game homestand.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), NBCSN California (Oakland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH Blake Snell (0-5, 4.85 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Chris Smith (0-0, 4.50)
Snell scattered four hits and four walks over five scoreless innings against the Cubs in Chicago on July 5 but remained winless in 10 starts this year as the bullpen squandered a 3-0 lead. It was a solid turnaround for the 24-year-old native of Washington state, who surrendered a total of 16 runs in 15 2/3 frames over his previous three outings - all losses. Snell made his first career start against the Athletics last season, allowing two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings of a no-decision in Oakland.
Smith did not factor in the decision at Seattle on July 8 after allowing three runs and six hits over six innings in his season debut - and first major-league start. The 36-year-old Californian has gone 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 15 games (12 starts) for Triple-A Nashville this year. Smith entered 2017 with a 1-0 record, one save and a 4.58 ERA in 63 career relief appearances.
1. Rays C Wilson Ramos (hamstring) has been kept out of the lineup for three straight games.
2. Oakland rookie 2B Chad Pinder (hamstring) is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Nashville on Tuesday.
3. Tampa Bay purchased the contract of Andrew Kittredge from Triple-A Durham and designated fellow RHP Jumbo Diaz for assignment.