OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Nathan Eovaldi pitched six innings of no-hit ball in his return to the majors following a second Tommy John surgery, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
Eovaldi (1-0) faced one over the minimum through six innings in his Tampa Bay debut. He threw 70 pitches and had four strikeouts. The only runner to reach base against him was Matt Chapman, who drew a one-out walk in the first.
Wilmer Font, acquired by the Rays from the A’s last Friday, gave up Jed Lowrie’s one-out single in the seventh for Oakland’s only hit of the game. Vidal Nuno got the last three outs to finish the one-hitter.
Rob Refsnyder hit a three-run home run off A’s starter Sean Manaea (5-6), and Johnny Field also homered for the Rays.
The game drew an announced crowd of 6,295, the smallest at the Coliseum since April 3, 2003.
Eovaldi last pitched in the majors on Aug. 10, 2016, for the Yankees. Nine days later, he underwent a second elbow surgery. Eovaldi also had Tommy John surgery in 2007 when he was a junior in high school.
The 28-year-old missed the first month of this season after undergoing surgery March 30 to remove loose bodies in his elbow. Eovaldi made four rehab starts in the minors before being activated off the disabled list prior to Wednesday’s game.
Eovaldi, the 12th pitcher in major league history to start in the majors after having two Tommy John surgeries, induced seven groundouts and retired the final 17 batters he faced following the walk to Chapman.
Font then came in and retired Matt Chapman on a liner to shortstop in the seventh before Lowrie pushed a single up the middle.
Nuno replaced Font in the ninth and gave up a leadoff walk to Chad Pinder then retired the next three batters.
That was all the offense the A’s could muster while being shut out by the Rays for the second time in three games.
Oakland went into the game batting .216 in May, the second-lowest average in the majors.
Athletics: INF Marcus Semien was placed on the paternity leave list before the game. Chad Pinder started at shortstop in Semien’s absence. RHP Josh Lucas was called up from Triple-A Nashville. … RHP Liam Hendriks began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville.
Tampa Bay RHP Ryne Stanek (1-0, 3.24 ERA) will make his second career start, three days after getting a win coming out of the bullpen. RHP Daniel Mengden (5-4, 2.85) goes for Oakland.