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Frankie Montas pitches Oakland Athletics past Tampa Bay Rays

Apr 13, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After being the subject of persistent trade rumors in recent days, Oakland ace Frankie Montas was masterful as the Athletics defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Montas (1-1) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing just five hits and two runs (one earned). He also struck out six without a walk while earning his first win of the season.

Relievers Kirby Snead, Zach Jackson and Lou Trivino came on to keep the Rays quiet. Trivino got the save, his first of the season.

The performance by Montas might be enough to convince the Athletics not to part ways with the right-hander, who struggled while allowing five runs in the season opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.

On Tuesday, there were multiple reports that Oakland was on the verge of trading Montas, who was 13-9 with a 3.37 ERA in 32 appearances last season, to the Chicago White Sox, who are reportedly desperate for help after injuries to their pitching staff in the first week of the season.

ESPN later reported that a trade of Montas for Chicago slugger Andrew Vaughn first had been proposed by the Athletics weeks ago, but the White Sox shot that idea down. When the rumors resurfaced Tuesday, the White Sox reiterated to ESPN their stance that Vaughn wasn’t going anywhere.

Montas outdueled Tampa Bay’s Shane McLanahan in a battle of Opening Day starters who were much sharper in their second outing. McLanahan (0-1) went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two hits but three runs while striking out eight. McClanahan earned a no-decision and allowed no earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in the season opener against Baltimore.

But McClanahan’s downfall came in the third inning when he walked Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty, both with two outs. Sean Murphy then followed with a three-run home run. That was Oakland’s fourth three-run home run in the series.

Tampa Bay’s offense, which produced nine runs in an extra-inning victory against the Athletics on Tuesday, was silent for much of the night. Ji-Man Choi hit his second home run of the season in the fourth inning and Francisco Mejia singled home Yandy Diaz in the seventh for the Rays’ only runs.

— Field Level Media