The Rays were shutout for the second time in three games Tuesday night, and are now 5-10 over their last 15 games. They've scored just 46 runs in those games, or roughly 3.0 runs per. That's certainly not going to cut it in the American League. Tonight it was Drew Pomeranz who shut down the Rays lineup.
Though he lasted only five innings Pomeranz allowed just five baserunners, three coming in the third inning. The Rays actually showed life that inning, loading the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. This brought Desmond Jennings to the plate and Pomeranz did what he had all night: spotted his fastball well. Jennings saw seven pitches that at bat and only one caught more than an inch of the plate. The Rays would challenge again in the eighth inning, putting two men on first and third with one out. Jennings came to the plate again and...grounded into another double play.
The only offense the A's could muster came in the second inning. With two outs and a man on, Jake Odorizzi imploded, allowing three runs to score on two singles and a double. The big blow was CoCo Crisp's double which scored two. It came on one of the five curveballs Odorrizi threw all night and Crisp shot it into right field. Again, Odorizzi's issue was the inability to put hitters away in an efficient manner. All but one of his five walks came when there were two strikes on the hitter. What really cut his night short was the 39 pitch fourth inning. He didn't allow a run, but it was a perfect microcosm of his season. He started off the inning by walking Derek Norris in a 14 pitch at bat and followed that up by using 10 pitches to strike out Nick Punto. The results weren't terrible, but he was terribly inefficient in getting there.
On a bright note, the bullpen was outstanding. Cesar Ramos, Juan Carlos Oviedo, Brad Boxberger, and Josh Lueke combined for 4.1 scoreless innings while striking out six. Oviedo lowered his ERA to 1.98 in the process. He hasn't been put in many high leverage situations, but he's looked sharp. Hell, the three runs he's allowed this year all came in one outing. He's turning out to be a very useful piece, especially considering he hadn't pitched since 2011.
After the game the Rays made it official, announcing Alex Cobb would be activated for the start Thursday. It'll be a big boost to the team, most notably the bullpen, but the team needs to start hitting for anything additional changes to matter.