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Game Thread #45: A's at Rays

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's the A's and Rays this evening, live from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. at 4:10pm PT.

Pitching for Oakland is Drew Pomeranz, who, appearance by appearance, is proving himself to be yet another one of Billy Beane's diamonds in the rough. On the year, he's 3-1 with a 1.14 ERA in 11 appearances, the last two coming as a starter after he replaced the struggling Dan Straily in the Athletics' rotation. Since becoming Oakland's fifth starter, he's thrown ten scoreless innings, given up five hits, and walked two batters. He's been staggeringly good, really — the only minor issue with his performance is that he hasn't been able to last long into games, since he's just now getting stretched out to allow himself to throw six or seven innings, as opposed to two or three.

Pomeranz threw 68 pitches in his first start and 82 in his second, so if the trend continues, he should be able to reach a mid-90s pitch count this evening, assuming he pitches well enough to do so. And if he does approach triple digits, it's possible that his next start would be one without limits, in which he pitches as long as he's effective.

Jed Lowrie is out of tonight's lineup with a neck strain, but is apparently available as a pinch-hitter from the left side (as a right-handed batter):

As has become the norm, both John Jaso and Derek Norris are in tonight's lineup; Jaso is the DH and Norris will catch. Nick Punto is playing shortstop in Lowrie's stead, and Eric Sogard rounds out the infield, batting ninth.

Oakland will have to overcome the efforts of Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 4.89 ERA) to win its 10th game in 11 tries; the righty hasn't been sharp in his 38⅔ innings this year, posting a WHIP of 1.55. He also boasts a traditional platoon split, giving the red-hot Brandon Moss a particularly good opportunity to pick up where he left over the past six games, in which his performance earned him AL Player of the Week honors.

A's-Rays, live at 4:10pm, with Oakland looking to stay undefeated on three-city road trip and Tampa Bay trying to bounce back from a disappointing 19-26 start. If all goes well, the A's won't even have to face Grant Balfour.

Today's Lineups

Coco Crisp - CF Brandon Guyer - LF
John Jaso - DH Desmond Jennings - CF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Evan Longoria - 3B
Brandon Moss - 1B Wil Myers - RF
Yoenis Cespedes - LF Sean Rodriguez - 2B
Josh Reddick - RF Logan Forsythe - DH
Derek Norris - C James Loney - 1B
Nick Punto - SS Yunel Escobar - SS
Eric Sogard - 2B Jose Molina - C
Drew Pomeranz - LHP Jake Odorizzi - RHP