Shintaro Fujinami will make his second career start Saturday when the Oakland Athletics continue a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The A’s dropped the opener 9-5 as Ken Waldichuk struggled again allowing eight runs over the first three innings. The Rays are the last remaining unbeaten team in the majors and will send left-hander Jeffrey Springs to the mound Saturday.
Fujinami put up zeroes in the first two innings of his opening start against the Angels, but things unraveled quickly in the third. By the time the dust settled, LA had scored 11 times and Fujinami was charged with eight of them. That outing was in many ways similar to what we saw from him during the spring where he could look dominant for stretches before completely losing command of his pitches. There is no questioning the stuff, but the consistency must improve for him to be effective.
Springs on the other hand was completely dominant in his debut tossing six hitless innings to go along with one walk and 12 strikeouts against the Tigers. He threw just 81 pitches and is one of the most underrated starters in the game.
Ryan Noda hit his second home run of the season in Friday’s loss. Noda is 4-for-17 at the plate over the first seven games of the season, but three of those four hits have gone for extra bases. Esteury Ruiz was 1-for-3, scored a run and picked up his first stolen base of the season.
The Rays added nine more runs to their ledger in Friday’s win and lead the majors in runs scored with 53. They also banged out five home runs and have 18 for the season which also leads the majors.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 8, 1:10 p.m. PDT
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2