OAKLAND (AP) — Three days after shaking up the back of their bullpen by trading away closer Alex Colome, the Tampa Bay Rays finally got their first shutout of the season.
On a day when starter Chris Archer pitched six strong innings, five relievers were equally as effective and held things together to extend the Rays’ winning streak to three games.
Mallex Smith hit an RBI single with two outs in the 13th inning, Jonny Venters got his first save in seven years to cap a seven-hit shutout and Tampa Bay outlasted the Oakland Athletics 1-0 on Monday.
“The pitchers were outstanding. We won the game because of them, just buying us time,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Sometimes you have to win 1-0, sometimes you have to win 2-1. Maybe we haven’t won those close ones as much as we’d like but today we did. We had to play flawless and we came out on top.”
Ryne Stanek (1-0) retired five batters to win and Venters struck out Matt Olson with the tying run on base to preserve the seven-hitter and earn his first save since 2011
The Rays have won four of five.
Chris Hatcher (3-2) retired the first two Tampa Bay hitters in the 13th before Johnny Field reached on an infield single to shortstop. Jesus Sucre followed with a single to move Fields to second before Smith blooped a 2-0 pitch to right-center.
The A’s and Rays wasted multiple scoring opportunities before Smith knocked in the only run of the game.
“We weren’t really getting on base much in the extras,” Smith said. “I just tried to not do too much in a 2-0 count and came through. Shoot, I know everybody was happy. It’s the 13th inning. That’s a lot of baseball for one day.”
Tampa Bay had runners at second and third with two outs in the third and again in the sixth but didn’t score. The Rays also got Carlos Gomez to second with two out in the 10th but Field struck out swinging.
Oakland came up empty after loading the bases with one out in the sixth, then failed to score after getting the first two batters on in the ninth.
“It’s tough to be on that side using that many guys and still not getting it done,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Unfortunately, that was the case today.”
The Rays got a big lift from their bullpen on a day when both starting pitchers were stellar.
Archer was sharp, going six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and two walks. Archer has allowed two runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.
Sergio Romo retired two batters, Jose Alvarado pitched 1 1/3 innings and Matt Andriese worked three scoreless frames for the Rays.
On Friday, Tampa Bay traded Colome and outfielder Denard Span to Seattle in exchange for a pair of pitching prospects.
“We grinded out a win,” Venters said. “It’s always good to go out and get a win after you lose a couple guys that are big parts of the team but it’s the way it is.”
Oakland starter Trevor Cahill pitched four-hit ball, didn’t walk a batter and had six strikeouts over eight innings, his outing since going eight against Texas on May 27, 2013 while still with Arizona.
MILLER HURT TAKING BATTING PRACTICE
First baseman Brad Miller grounded out in two at-bats after being a late scratch from the Rays starting lineup because of a facial contusion suffered when he hit a ball that deflected off a protective screen and struck him near his left eye during batting practice.
Rays: RHP Yonny Chirinos (right forearms strain) will make a second rehab start with Triple-A Durham on Tuesday.
Athletics: Designated hitter Khris Davis continues to make steady progress in his recovery from a strained right groin. “His agility looks great,” Melvin said. “I’m encouraged.” Davis is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday. . CF Boog Powell (sprained right knee) has been feeling better the past few days, Melvin said.
LHP Blake Snell (6-3, 2.78 ERA) pitches for Tampa Bay on Tuesday and is winless in two career starts against Oakland. Snell has allowed two runs or fewer in nine starts overall this season, tied for second in the majors. RHP Daniel Gossett (0-2, 6.28) takes the mound for the A’s.