Kevin Cash said he was happy to get out of Oakland. That was his reaction Thursday following a 4-3 victory over the A’s that gave his club a split of a four-game series after the Rays lost the first two.
Seven times this season Tampa Bay (50-22) has lost two in a row. Not once has a skid reached three games.
“I don’t think losing will ever get out of hand with this team,” said Taylor Walls, when asked by a reporter in Oakland about losing the first two games before rebounding. “Just the way everybody’s mindset is here and how everybody approaches their work day in and day out.”
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What played out at the Oakland Coliseum was a far cry from the Rays’ three-game sweep at the Trop in April in which they outscored the A’s 31-5. The margin was 14-12 in four games this time around.
With Oakland in the rearview mirror, the Rays’ West Coast trip resumes Friday night (9:40) 500 miles south in San Diego. The last time they played the Padres (33-35) was 2019, which was also at Petco Park and where they took two of three.
Shane McClanahan (10-1, 2.18 ERA) will be on the mound to open the series. He will be opposed by Yu Darvish (5-4, 4.30). The Rays’ magic number when their ace is on the mound is three as the lefty is 32-4 in his career when his teammates provide three-plus run of support.
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Old pal Blake Snell is scheduled to start for the Padres on Saturday (7:15 on FOX) against Zach Eflin (8-2, 3.28). The teams have not met since Snell was dealt to San Diego for four players, including Francisco Mejia and Luis Patino in December 2020. The 2018 Cy Young Award winner is 17-22, 3.79 in 64 starts with the Padres.
As of Friday morning, the Rays had not announced a starter for Sunday afternoon (4:10). The Padres will go with righthander Joe Musgrove (4-2, 4.37).
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