Glasnow fans 14, Adames homers as Rays blank Rangers 1-0

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays are running out of superlatives to describe the way Tyler Glasnow is pitching.

The hard-throwing right-hander struck out a career-high 14 in 7 2/3 innings and Willy Adames homered in the seventh to help the AL champions beat the sputtering Texas Rangers 1-0 on Monday night.

Glasnow (1-0) allowed two hits and got his first win of the season after pitching well but not being involved in decisions in two previous starts. He allowed Eli White‘s single up the middle off the glove of diving second baseman Brandon Lowe with one out in the fifth and Jose Trevino‘s leadoff single in the eighth.

“That was unbelievable. He’s going right at hitters,” said centerfielder Brett Phillips, who made a couple of nice defensive plays – one a sliding catch to rob White of a hit in the second inning, the other on a Trevino’s fourth-inning fly ball he ran down on the warning track in left-center.

“Outside of those, I could have put a lounge chair out there, put my head back and maybe got a water or something and watched him do his thing,” Phillips added. “That’s how impressive it was playing behind him.”

Adames homered off Taylor Hearn (0-1) with two outs in the seventh, just the third hit yielded by Texas pitchers. Rangers starter Dane Dunning limited the Rays to a pair of doubles in the first two innings before being replaced by Hearn at the start of the fifth.

Glasnow improved to 6-0 over his last 11 regular season games, and the AL champions have gone 10-1 in the those games.

The 6-foot-8 right-hander allowed one hit in six innings on opening day, exiting a scoreless tie before the Rays went on to win 1-0 at Miami. He yielded one run and four hits over six innings at Boston on April 6, departing with a 3-1 lead the Rays were unable to hold before losing in extra innings.

“If he continues to do what he’s been doing,” Adames said, “he’s going to be if not the best, then top two” in the AL.

“I think every night he takes the ball, if he’s healthy, he has a chance to do something special,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Texas was shut out for the third time in four games.

The Rangers’ offensive struggles carried over from a six-game homestand in which they scored just 15 runs and batted .193 as a team. They were no-hit by San Diego’s Joe Musgrove last Friday and shut out two of the previous three games entering Monday night.

Glasnow didn’t make it any easier for them.

The Rays ace struck out the side in the first, third and sixth innings. The closest he came to giving up a hit before White singled was when White hit a sinking liner that Phillips went to the ground to catch with two outs in the second.

“The guy has elite stuff. … He’s really tough to hit,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said, adding his young hitters are still learning what it takes to be successful against some of the game’s best pitching.

“It was a tough test, clearly,” Woodward added.

Lefty Cody Reed relieved with two outs, and Diego Castillo escaped a ninth-inning jam to finish a combined three-hitter and get his third save.

Glasnow said he pleaded his case to finish the game, but not strenuously. Asked his reaction to White’s grounder getting through the infield for the first hit, the right-hander blamed himself for throwing a slider.

“I was more frustrated with my pitch selection,” Glasnow said. “I had hung two sliders beforehand, and I was just trying to not to even throw that one for a strike.”

CHAMPIONSHIP JEWELRY

The Rays received their AL championship rings before batting practice. Principal owner Stuart Sternberg and general manager Erik Neander spoke to the team before players were shown a short video featuring highlights from the 2020 pandemic-shortened season.

“They’re beautiful. … I think all of us were blown away by them,” center fielder Kevin Kiermaier said. “About as sexy as a ring could get without being a World Series champion.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: OF David Dahl (calf tightness) was back in the lineup after missing one game. … RHP reliever Jonathan Hernandez had ligament reconstruction surgery, performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. … 3B Brock Holt resumed baseball activity, six days after straining his right hamstring. The Rangers are optimistic he will be ready when eligible to come off the injured list Saturday. … OF/DH Khris Davis (left quad strain) is still about two weeks before being a full-go medically and able to compete in games to prepare for his Rangers debut. … LF Ronald Guzman left the game in the first inning after injuring his right knee while chasing a pop fly caught by SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

Rays: Manager Kevin Cash said RHP Chris Archer, placed on the 10-day injured list after experiencing right lateral forearm tightness in a start last Saturday, may begin playing catch by the end of the week.

UP NEXT

The four-game series continues Tuesday with the Rangers starting right-hander Kyle Gibson (1-0, 7.11) and the Rays countering with lefty Ryan Yarbrough (0-1, 5.06).

A’s running out of time to find home in Oakland, Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS — The Oakland Athletics have spent years trying to get a new stadium while watching Bay Area neighbors such as the Giants, Warriors, 49ers and Raiders successfully move into state-of-the-art venues, and now time is running short on their efforts.

The A’s lease at RingCentral Coliseum expires after the 2024 season, and though they might be forced to extend the terms, the club and Major League Baseball have deemed the stadium unsuitable for a professional franchise.

They are searching for a new stadium in Oakland or Las Vegas, but they have experienced difficulties in both areas. The A’s missed a major deadline in October to get a deal done in Oakland, and there has been little indication they will receive the kind of funding they want from Las Vegas.

“I think the A’s have to look at it in a couple of ways,” said Brendan Bussmann, managing partner at Las Vegas-based B Global. “Obviously, they have struggled in Oakland to get a deal across the line. It isn’t for a lack of effort. . You have an owner that’s willing to pony up money, you have a club that wants to sit there and figure out a way to make it work, and you keep running into obstacles along the way.

“It’s time to fish or cut bait. Oakland, do you want them or not? And if not, where are the A’s going to get the best deal? Is it Vegas? Is it somewhere else? They’ll have to figure that out.”

What the A’s are thinking is a little bit of a mystery. Team President Dave Kaval was talkative earlier in the process, saying the A’s are pursuing two different tracks with Oakland and Las Vegas. But he went silent on the subject several months ago. A’s spokeswoman Catherine Aker said mostly recently that the club would withhold comment for now.

The A’s have been negotiating with Oakland to build a $1 billion stadium as part of a $12 billion redevelopment deal.

Newly elected Mayor Sheng Thao said reaching a deal is important as long as it makes economic sense to the city. Her predecessor, Libby Schaaf, led prior efforts to reach an agreement, but after the city and the A’s missed that October deadline, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed reservations a deal will ever get done.

“The pace in Oakland has not been rapid, number one,” Manfred said at the time. “We’re in a stadium situation that’s really not tenable. I mean, we need to do something to alter the situation. So I’m concerned about the lack of pace.”

Recent California history justifies his concerns. SoFi Stadium in Southern California and Chase Center in San Francisco were built with private money, and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara was 90% privately financed.

“And then I think there was some contagion where around the country people realized these deals could be done well privately and could generate a return on investment to those investors,” said David Carter, a sports business professor at the University of Southern California. “Why are we throwing public money at it at all?”

That’s also a question being asked in Las Vegas, even though the Raiders in 2016 received $750 million from the Nevada Legislature for a stadium. That then was the largest amount of public money for a sports venue, but it was surpassed last March by the $850 million pledged to construct a new stadium for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

Another deal like the one for Allegiant Stadium, where the Raiders play, appears unlikely in Nevada. T-Mobile Arena, which opened in 2017, was privately financed. An arena planned for south of the Las Vegas Strip also wouldn’t rely on public funds.

Las Vegas, however, has shown financing creativity. Its Triple-A baseball stadium received $80 million in 2017 for naming rights from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Room taxes fund the authority, so it was public money in a backdoor sort of way.

Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, who is on the board of the convention authority, has spoken with A’s representatives about their interest in Las Vegas and said he is aware of the club’s talks with other Nevada officials. He said the A’s are taking a much different approach than the Raiders, who identified Las Vegas early as their choice landing spot after many years of failing to get a new stadium in Oakland.

“When the Raiders decided to come to Las Vegas, they had a clear plan,” Naft said. “You had a clear body that was tasked with assessing the worth and the value, and they committed to the destination. I have not seen that from the Oakland A’s at any level, and it’s not really our job to go out and beg them to come here because we have earned the reputation of the greatest arena on Earth. We have put in both the dollars and the labor to make that the case.

“I think I’ve made myself clear, but from conversations with others, I don’t think I’m alone on that.”

New Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo “will not raise taxes” to attract the A’s or any other team, his spokeswoman, Elizabeth Ray, said in a statement. But she said the club could qualify for other ongoing “economic development programs,” which could mean tax breaks similar to what Tesla received in 2014.

Manfred said in December that the A’s relocation fee would be waived if they move to Las Vegas, a savings to the club reportedly of up to $1 billion.

“We’re past any reasonable timeline for the situation in Oakland to be resolved,” Manfred said then.

Naft said Allegiant Stadium filled a hole that went beyond landing an NFL team. It allowed Las Vegas to attract major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Final Four and major concerts such as Garth Brooks and Elton John that “in many cases we would not otherwise have.”

He said he doesn’t believe a baseball stadium would accomplish that, and sports economist Victor Matheson agreed.

“I think there’s a real question about how much people are willing to watch baseball in Las Vegas,” said Matheson, a professor at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. “It’s not like locals don’t have a huge number of entertainment options right now, and it’s not clear exactly how much people might travel to watch baseball in Vegas, either.”

If the A’s truly want to be in Las Vegas, Naft said they need to make that clear.

“I just believe you can’t play destinations against each other,” Naft said. “If you want to come here and you want to be met with open arms, you’ve got to commit.”

Should the A’s fail to reach an agreement in Oakland or Las Vegas, they could consider other destinations such as Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville; and Portland, Oregon. Whether they would have the time to explore such options is another question.

Oakland has already shown it will watch the Raiders move to Nevada and the Warriors go across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco.

Las Vegas, Matheson noted, is hardly in a desperate situation. He also expressed caution that Las Vegas could go from being among the largest metropolitan areas without a major professional sports team to among the smallest with three franchises.

“So you’ve gone from kind of being under-sported to being over-sported in a short period of time if the A’s were to go there,” Matheson said.