Rays get impressive start from Matt Andriese

by Gary Shelton on May 15, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Hank Conger congratulates Matt Andriese after impressive win./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Hank Conger congratulates Matt Andriese after impressive win./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Sunday, 6 a.m.

Chris Archer? Yeah, Chris Archer.

Arch is the guy you would have expected to pitch a game like this, right? He would have the command. He would have been in control.

And if not Archer, maybe Drew Smyly. Yeah, for it would have been Drew Smyly.

It would have been Smyly who would have ruled the night. Smyly who would made the hitters walk away shaking their heads.

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Evan Longoria had two hits to lead the Rays against the A's./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Evan Longoria had two hits to lead the Rays against the A's./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

If not them, surely it would have been Jake Odorizzi. Or maybe Matt Moore. Maybe Blake Snell on a call-up. Maybe Erasmo Ramirez if he could escape the bullpen.

But Matt Andriese?

Really?

For crying out loud, it was only Andriese's second start of the season, only the 10th of his career. It was Andriese who was left out of the Rays hyped rotation at the start of the year.

And yet, there he was, throwing a rare complete game, holding the A's to two hits on the evening in a 6-0 win. Matt Andriese. Wow.

Tim Beckham will play more now that Logan Forsythe has a hairline fracture./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Tim Beckham will play more now that Logan Forsythe has a hairline fracture./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

At a time the Rays needed a lift from their starting pitching, it was Andriese who provided it. He gave up singles to Matt McBride and Danny Valencia and hit Billy Burns. Other than that, it was one of those nights that a borderline pitcher dreams of.

"When I got called up, my last start, I kind of told myself I want to be here for good," Andriese said, "so I kind of was taking that mentality and kind of built off that each outing."

Now the question is: How the heck can you justify getting him out of this rotation?

"You never take that (spot) for granted. I felt like every day I'm fighting for myself," Andriese said. "Today helped me build on that and I'm pretty excited about the outing."

The Rays scored on a two-run homer by Brad Miller in the third, on RBI by Steve Pearce and Kevin Kiermaier in the sixth and on a two-run single by Brandon Guyer in the eighth. It lifted the Rays' record to 16-18.

"It felt great," Andriese said. "I'm kind of at a loss for words. That feeling I had there on the mound there in the ninth inning, with two strikes. Like I said, a little loss for words. It feels great, though."

The Rays usually reserve their eighth and ninth for the bullpen. Andriese wouldn't allow such thoughts.

"He controlled the game about as well as he could," Cash said. "He kept his pitch count down really low, and it was just, 'Let's see how each inning goes' from that point, as far as guys getting on base."

The Rays' Matt Moore finishes the series against Sonny Gray today.

Steve Pearce starts a double play for the Rays./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Steve Pearce starts a double play for the Rays./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

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