Morton remains unbeaten, Lowe homers as Rays top A's 6-2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Charlie Morton is proving his worth to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 35-year-old right-hander, signed to a $30 million, two-year contract in free agency, remained unbeaten with his new team on Monday night, limiting the Oakland Athletics to two hits over seven shutout innings of a 6-2 victory.

The win, Tampa Bay's sixth in seven games, nudged the Rays ahead of the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East.

Morton (8-0, 2.10 ERA) is one of the reasons the budget-minded team with one of baseball's lowest payrolls feels this could be a special season.

''He's a huge pickup for this team,'' centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier said after making a leaping catch at the wall to rob Oakland's Jurickson Profar of an extra-base hit and then delivering a two-run homer for a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning.

''The way Charlie Morton has been going for us all year, the spark and dominance he has brought to the table,'' Kiermaier added, ''I wanted to make that play for him.''

Brandon Lowe homered for the third time in two days, snapping a scoreless tie in the sixth inning and helping the Rays take a half-game lead over Yankees, who were rained out at home where they were to play the Mets.

Morton (8-0) extended his career-best winning streak to 11 games dating to Aug. 17, when he was with the Houston Astros.

The stretch covers 21 starts - 14 of them with Tampa Bay since signing as a free agent - and is the longest active streak in the major leagues ahead of Milwaukee Davies, who's 7-0 over his past 14 starts.

Morton allowed two hits - singles to Marcus Semien in the first and third innings - and retired the last 14 batters he faced. In addition to Kiermaier's highlight-reel catch, Morton benefited from Tommy Pham also making a leaping catch at the wall in left field.

''I'm not surprised by it anymore. They are awesome,'' Morton said of the defensive gems. ''You get so much confidence in the guys behind you. I feel like if a ball is hit really, really hard, you still have a chance with those guys out there.''

Stephen Piscotty ruined Tampa Bay's bid for a shutout, driving in Mark Canha with an RBI double and then scoring on Robbie Grossman's run-scoring single in the ninth.

Lowe, who homered twice in Sunday's 6-1 win in Boston, hit a two-run shot off Tanner Anderson (0-1), who was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas to make his debut with Oakland, which acquired him from Pittsburgh last November.

Kiermaier also had a two-run homer for Tampa Bay, going deep against reliever Yusmeiro Petit in the seventh inning. Ji-Man Choi made it 6-0 with a two-run homer off Joakim Soria in the eighth.

Anderson, who went to high school in nearby Tampa, made six relief appearances for the Pirates last season. He allowed two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in his first big league start.

''My first dream was to play at this level, and it was awesome when that happened last year,'' said Anderson, who had 40 family members and friends in the stands.

''But my second dream is to pitch in Tropicana (Field), so it was awesome,'' Anderson added. ''A dream come true. Had a lot of support here, which is really cool.''

CHEAP SEATS

Attendance was announced as 16,091, a figure helped in part by the Rays putting 5,000 tickets on sale for $5 apiece last week.

The discounted tickets, available on the internet for a limited time, were made available as part of a flash sale, including the first five dates of a seven-game homestand that began Monday.

The allotment for two of the games - against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday and Friday - sold out before last week's deadline.

The Rays entered Monday night averaging 13,802 - 29th among 30 major league teams.

HONEYWELL UPDATE

Rays pitching prospect Brent Honeywell underwent successful surgery to repair the fracture in his right elbow. The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Florida. The team said ulnar collateral ligament was not damaged and that if Honeywell's recovery goes as hoped, the right-hander could resume throwing next January. Honeywell has been sidelined from the spring of 2018, recovering from Tommy John surgery.

TRAVEL WOES

The Athletics spent an extra 3 1/2 hours in the clubhouse after Sunday's game at Texas and didn't arrive in Florida until after 3 a.m. because their plane was damaged during a thunderstorm. That followed an early morning arrival Friday for a four-game series with the Rangers that included a day-night doubleheader Saturday and a rain delay Sunday. ''Feels like we've had five straight nights of naps,'' manager Bob Melvin said.

UP NEXT

Athletics RHP Mike Fiers (5-3) will start the middle date of the three-game series Tuesday night. Opener Ryne Stanek (0-1) will take the ball first for the Rays.

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Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
OAK33-34
000000002240
TB41-24
00000222X680
  • W: C. Morton (8-0)L: T. Anderson (0-1)
  • HR: TB - K. Kiermaier (8), J. Choi (7), B. Lowe (14)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Semien SS40200000.276.361.434.7952.0
M. Chapman 3B30000111.257.343.510.8520.5
M. Olson 1B10000110.225.326.500.8261.5
a- M. Canha PH01000100.239.370.550.9212.0
K. Davis DH40000036.236.300.452.752-1.5
S. Piscotty RF41110015.258.320.413.7333.5
R. Grossman LF40110000.249.335.387.7222.0
R. Laureano CF40000001.259.305.414.7190.0
J. Profar 2B40000011.202.265.368.633-0.5
B. Taylor C20000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
b- J. Phegley PH-C10000010.263.306.487.793-0.5
T. Anderson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
Y. Petit P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
W. Wang P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
J. Soria P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
  • a-walked for Olson in the 9th
  • b-struck out for Taylor in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
A. Meadows RF31000113.341.416.6161.0321.5
T. Pham LF30000103.282.398.450.8481.0
B. Lowe 2B41121022.288.340.553.8936.0
A. Garcia DH41100020.299.354.507.8611.0
J. Choi 1B41221010.287.363.457.8207.5
Y. Diaz 3B41100001.269.351.487.8383.0
K. Kiermaier CF41221000.254.311.455.7668.0
M. Zunino C40000021.181.234.328.561-1.0
D. Robertson SS20100110.207.309.290.5991.5
C. Morton P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
C. Poche P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
C. Roe P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    BATTING
    • 2B - S. Piscotty (13)
    • RBI - S. Piscotty (29), R. Grossman (18)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - S. Piscotty 5 (5), J. Profar
    BATTING
    • 2B - Y. Diaz (10)
    • HR - B. Lowe (14), J. Choi (7), K. Kiermaier (8)
    • RBI - B. Lowe 2 (43), J. Choi 2 (25), K. Kiermaier 2 (30)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. Pham 2 (2), B. Lowe 2 (2), Y. Diaz
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    T. Anderson (L, 0-1)5.23222513.180.885.5
    Y. Petit0.23220112.820.89-4.5
    W. Wang0.20001200.000.480.0
    J. Soria1.02220115.681.20-0.5
    PITCHERSIP
    T. Anderson (L, 0-1)5.2
    Y. Petit0.2
    W. Wang0.2
    J. Soria1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Morton (W, 8-0)7.02002702.101.0230.5
    C. Poche1.101112010.131.132.0
    C. Roe0.22110003.321.84-3.0
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Morton (W, 8-0)7.0
    C. Poche1.1
    C. Roe0.2
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - T. Anderson 92-56, Y. Petit 15-11, W. Wang 14-8, J. Soria 17-13
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - T. Anderson 5-7, J. Soria 2-0
    • Batters Faced - T. Anderson 22, Y. Petit 5, W. Wang 3, J. Soria 5
    • Balks - W. Wang
    PITCHING
    • HBP - C. Morton (6)
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 94-59, C. Poche 18-13, C. Roe 9-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 7-7, C. Roe 1-1
    • Batters Faced - C. Morton 26, C. Poche 5, C. Roe 4
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    OAK33-34
    000000002240
    TB41-24
    00000222X680
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Semien SS40200000.276.361.434.7952.0
    M. Chapman 3B30000111.257.343.510.8520.5
    M. Olson 1B10000110.225.326.500.8261.5
    a- M. Canha PH01000100.239.370.550.9212.0
    K. Davis DH40000036.236.300.452.752-1.5
    S. Piscotty RF41110015.258.320.413.7333.5
    R. Grossman LF40110000.249.335.387.7222.0
    R. Laureano CF40000001.259.305.414.7190.0
    J. Profar 2B40000011.202.265.368.633-0.5
    B. Taylor C20000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
    b- J. Phegley PH-C10000010.263.306.487.793-0.5
    T. Anderson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Y. Petit P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    W. Wang P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    J. Soria P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Total3124203914-----
    • a-walked for Olson in the 9th
    • b-struck out for Taylor in the 8th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    A. Meadows RF31000113.341.416.6161.0321.5
    T. Pham LF30000103.282.398.450.8481.0
    B. Lowe 2B41121022.288.340.553.8936.0
    A. Garcia DH41100020.299.354.507.8611.0
    J. Choi 1B41221010.287.363.457.8207.5
    Y. Diaz 3B41100001.269.351.487.8383.0
    K. Kiermaier CF41221000.254.311.455.7668.0
    M. Zunino C40000021.181.234.328.561-1.0
    D. Robertson SS20100110.207.309.290.5991.5
    C. Morton P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    C. Poche P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    C. Roe P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Total3268633910-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - S. Piscotty (13)
      • RBI - S. Piscotty (29), R. Grossman (18)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - S. Piscotty 5 (5), J. Profar
      BATTING
      • 2B - Y. Diaz (10)
      • HR - B. Lowe (14), J. Choi (7), K. Kiermaier (8)
      • RBI - B. Lowe 2 (43), J. Choi 2 (25), K. Kiermaier 2 (30)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. Pham 2 (2), B. Lowe 2 (2), Y. Diaz
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      T. Anderson (L, 0-1)5.23222513.180.885.5
      Y. Petit0.23220112.820.89-4.5
      W. Wang0.20001200.000.480.0
      J. Soria1.02220115.681.20-0.5
      Total8.0866393---
      PITCHERSIP
      T. Anderson (L, 0-1)5.2
      Y. Petit0.2
      W. Wang0.2
      J. Soria1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Morton (W, 8-0)7.02002702.101.0230.5
      C. Poche1.101112010.131.132.0
      C. Roe0.22110003.321.84-3.0
      Total9.0422390---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Morton (W, 8-0)7.0
      C. Poche1.1
      C. Roe0.2
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - T. Anderson 92-56, Y. Petit 15-11, W. Wang 14-8, J. Soria 17-13
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - T. Anderson 5-7, J. Soria 2-0
      • Batters Faced - T. Anderson 22, Y. Petit 5, W. Wang 3, J. Soria 5
      • Balks - W. Wang
      PITCHING
      • HBP - C. Morton (6)
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 94-59, C. Poche 18-13, C. Roe 9-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 7-7, C. Roe 1-1
      • Batters Faced - C. Morton 26, C. Poche 5, C. Roe 4
      • 9TH INNING
        Grossman singled to left center, Piscotty scored26
        Piscotty doubled to left center, Canha scored16
      • 8TH INNING
        Choi homered to right center, Garcia scored06
      • 7TH INNING
        Kiermaier homered to center, Diaz scored04
      • 6TH INNING
        Lowe homered to left center, Meadows scored02
      • 9TH INNING
        • Mark Canha hit for Matt Olson
        • M. Canha: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Canha walked
        • K. Davis: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Davis lined out to left
        • Chaz Roe relieved Colin Poche
        • S. Piscotty: Ball, Strike swinging, Piscotty doubled to left center, Canha scored
        • R. Grossman: Foul, Grossman singled to left center, Piscotty scored
        • R. Laureano: Laureano lined out to left
        • J. Profar: Strike looking, Foul, Profar grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 9th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Colin Poche relieved Charlie Morton
        • Josh Phegley hit for Beau Taylor
        • J. Phegley: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Phegley struck out swinging
        • M. Semien: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Semien lined out to center
        • M. Chapman: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Chapman struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Joakim Soria relieved Wei-Chung Wang
        • A. Garcia: Strike looking, Garcia singled to deep left
        • J. Choi: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Choi homered to right center, Garcia scored
        • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Diaz grounded out to third
        • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Foul, Kiermaier grounded out to second
        • M. Zunino: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Zunino struck out looking
        • End of the 8th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Grossman grounded out to first
        • R. Laureano: Laureano flied out to right
        • J. Profar: Ball, Ball, Profar lined out to center
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Y. Petit Pitching:
        • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Foul, Diaz doubled to deep right
        • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Kiermaier homered to center, Diaz scored
        • M. Zunino: Ball, Foul, Zunino popped out to first
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Ball, Foul, Robertson singled to shallow center
        • Wei-Chung Wang relieved Yusmeiro Petit
        • A. Meadows: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Meadows struck out swinging
        • T. Pham: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Robertson to second on balk, Ball, Ball, Pham walked
        • B. Lowe: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Lowe struck out on foul tip
        • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • M. Olson: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Olson struck out swinging
        • K. Davis: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
        • S. Piscotty: Strike looking, Piscotty lined out to center
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • T. Anderson Pitching:
        • A. Meadows: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Meadows walked
        • T. Pham: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Strike looking, Pham grounded out to third, Meadows to second
        • B. Lowe: Ball, Lowe homered to left center, Meadows scored
        • A. Garcia: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Garcia struck out swinging
        • Yusmeiro Petit relieved Tanner Anderson
        • J. Choi: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Choi struck out looking
        • End of the 6th (2 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • B. Taylor: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Taylor struck out looking
        • M. Semien: Semien grounded out to third
        • M. Chapman: Strike looking, Chapman flied out to deep left
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • T. Anderson Pitching:
        • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Kiermaier flied out to deep center
        • M. Zunino: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Zunino struck out looking
        • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Robertson struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Grossman flied out to deep center
        • R. Laureano: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Laureano grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Profar: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Profar struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • T. Anderson Pitching:
        • B. Lowe: Lowe lined out to shortstop
        • A. Garcia: Garcia popped out to second
        • J. Choi: Foul, Ball, Ball, Choi singled to deep left
        • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Ball, Diaz fouled out to first
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • B. Taylor: Taylor grounded out to first
        • M. Semien: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Semien singled to right
        • M. Chapman: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Chapman walked, Semien to second
        • M. Olson: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Olson walked, Semien to third, Chapman to second
        • K. Davis: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
        • S. Piscotty: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Piscotty grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • T. Anderson Pitching:
        • K. Kiermaier: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Kiermaier reached on an infield single to second
        • M. Zunino: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Zunino popped out to second
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Ball, Robertson walked, Kiermaier to second
        • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Ball, Meadows flied out to left
        • T. Pham: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Pham grounded out to second
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Ball, Grossman lined out to left
        • R. Laureano: Strike looking, Laureano grounded out to third
        • J. Profar: Strike swinging, Ball, Profar grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • T. Anderson Pitching:
        • A. Garcia: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Garcia struck out swinging
        • J. Choi: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Choi grounded out to third
        • Y. Diaz: Ball, Diaz grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • M. Semien: Strike looking, Ball, Semien singled to right
        • M. Chapman: Ball, Chapman lined out to shortstop
        • M. Olson: Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Olson hit by pitch, Semien to second
        • K. Davis: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
        • S. Piscotty: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Piscotty struck out on foul tip
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • T. Anderson Pitching:
        • A. Meadows: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Meadows flied out to deep center
        • T. Pham: Pham grounded out to first
        • B. Lowe: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Lowe struck out swinging
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)