MLB: Mitch Spence shuts down Rays, A’s get road win

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Spot starter Mitch Spence took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, Miguel Andujar roped a three-run homer and the Oakland Athletics blanked the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Making his 14th appearance but just his third start, Spence (4-2) made the most of the opportunity.

The right-hander surrendered one hit, walked one and struck out four over 5 1/3 innings in a season-high 98-pitch outing.

Relievers T.J. McFarland and Michael Kelly kept it scoreless until the ninth when closer Mason Miller ended it and remained perfect in saves — 11-for-11 — for the club’s fifth shutout.

Abraham Toro went 2-for-4 as Oakland won for the fourth time in seven games.

Rays starter Zack Littell (2-3) was victimized by three unearned runs in the sixth inning and yielded five hits. He fanned nine and walked one.

Tampa Bay was shut out for the third time thus far, all in May.

The A’s threatened against Littell in the third inning after J.D. Davis and Toro produced singles to put runners on the corners with two outs. However, Littell bore down on JJ Bleday and got a check-swing strikeout on an 84 mph splitter to stop the challenge.

Spence rolled through the Rays’ lineup through five frames, retiring 15 of the first 16 batters he faced with the lone exception being Isaac Paredes’ walk to lead off the second.

In the sixth, the Rays’ defense let them down and ultimately cost them the game.

Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe booted a tough leadoff chopper by Max Schuemann and Bleday worked a one-out walk. After Littell whiffed Brent Rooker, the righty was one out from keeping it scoreless.

But Andujar barreled up a 1-0 sweeper and lined it over the wall in left at 105.8 mph. The three-run shot was the left fielder’s first this season.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Jose Caballero looped a single to shallow center for home side’s first hit, chasing Spence after his longest appearance. McFarland then fanned Richie Palacios and retired Yandy Diaz on a pop fly.

Miller allowed a single to Diaz and walked Lowe — both with two out — but struck out Paredes for his second whiff of the inning to complete the three-hit shutout. Nineteen of Miller’s 27 pitches reached 100 mph.

–Field Level Media

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