Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
When and Where: Sunday, Sept. 16, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla., 1:10 p.m. EDT.
Mike Fiers looks to stay unbeaten since joining Oakland and run his career-high winning streak to seven games as the Athletics wrap up a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Fiers proving to be one of best trade deadline acquisitions
Fiers (12-6, 3.29 ERA) has set a single-season career high for victories, previously established with 11 pitching for Houston in 2016. He has helped the Athletics all but assure a playoff berth, going 5-0 with a 2.72 ERA in seven starts since being acquired from Detroit on Aug. 6 after he cleared waivers.
The right-hander has allowed more than two runs just once in his seven starts with Oakland and is looking to win a third consecutive start after holding Baltimore to a solo homer and three other hits over six innings of a 3-2 road victory Tuesday.
The only issue Fiers has had since joining the A’s has been keeping the ball in the park. He has served up eight homers in 39 2-3 innings over his seven starts, which have accounted for 10 of the 12 runs he has given up with them.
Fiers has not faced the Rays this season and is 1-1 with a 4.11 ERA in four career starts against them. The lone loss came in the most recent outing in 2017 when he permitted for six runs and eight hits — two of them home runs — in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-4 loss pitching for Houston.
Fiers has been tagged for seven home runs in 24 2-3 innings in his matchups with Tampa Bay. Though C.J. Cron is just 3 for 15 lifetime versus Fiers, two of those hits have left the yard.
Rays to use opener in all three games of this series
As was the case the first two games of this series, Rays manager Kevin Cash will use an opener to start this game. Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.31 ERA) could be called upon for the second time this series after tossing two scoreless innings in Friday night’s opener.
Castillo has not allowed a run in his last three appearances as opener and been reached for four runs in his seven overall stints as opener while logging 11 1-3 innings. The rookie right-hander has held opposing hitters to a .214 batting average in those seven games while striking out 13.
The Rays had won the previous six games Castillo served as opener before Friday night’s 2-1, 10-inning defeat.
The Rays are:
- No trends of note.
- The under is 9-4-1 in their last 14 games vs. starter with a WHIP under 1.15.
The Athletics are:
- 7-0 in Fiers’ last seven starts.
- 27-9 in their last 36 Sunday games.
- 4-0 in Fiers’ last four starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- No trends of note