Game two of the first road trip of 2023 pitted the two-win A’s against the 7-0 Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Today’s starting matchup was righty Shintaro Fujinami going for the A’s against lefty Jeffrey Springs for the Rays. It’s the second start of the season for both, but their opening games could not have been much more different. Springs threw six innings of no-hit, one-walk baseball in a wining effort against the Detroit Tigers, while Fujinami gave up eight earned runs in three plus innings of work against the Angels.
Fuji got off to a great start, mowing down the high-scoring Rays for the first three innings, not giving up his first hit until one out in the fourth. But a two-out, two-run single by Isaac Paredes got the scoring started by driving in Brandon Lowe and Wander Franco. Fuji pitched himself into trouble in the fifth inning with a hit batsman and two walks. With bases loaded, Randy Arozarena singled, driving in two more Rays. Fujinami left the game with the score 4-0. Lefty Sam Moll came in and hit two consecutive batters driving in the third run of the inning, closing out Fuji’s line for the afternoon at 4 1/3 innings, with three hits and five earned runs.
Domingo Acevedo gave up a hard line drive homer to Manuel Margot to right-center field. After loading the bases again, Acevedo gave up a three run homer to Brandon Lowe. Lowe’s first home run of the year brought the score to 9-0 before Acevedo recorded his first out.
Jeurys Familia pitched the bottom of the seventh for the A’s, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. Kevin Kelly replaced Jeffrey Springs in the top of the eighth inning. Springs was masterful for the second straight start, giving up just three hits and no earned runs to the A’s.
Reserve catcher Carlos Perez came in to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning. After walking Brandon Lowe, Arozarena hit a batting practice fastball to centerfield for his second home run of the season, bringing the score to 11-0. That’s how the scoring ended.
On the 49th anniversary of Henry Aaron hitting his historic 715th home run, Manuel Margot homered, Brandon Lowe homered, and Randy Arozarena homered for the Rays. No A’s batter left the yard. The series finale is tomorrow at 10:10 a.m. Pacific Time.