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CWS@OAK: Pomeranz fans eight through five

Jake Odorizzi will look to cool off the red hot A's on Tuesday when he takes the mound for the Rays.

Odorizzi, who had his best Major League start on Wednesday against the Mariners, will have his work cut out for him against Oakland, winners of nine of its last 10 games.

The 24-year-old held Seattle scoreless on one hit and two walks -- while striking out seven -- over six innings, as he picked up his second win of the season.

"It felt good coming out," said Odorizzi, now 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA through eight starts, of his last outing. "The hitters tell you what your stuff is like. They didn't put any hard contact on it, so we kept going to it. Kept bringing it up higher and higher in the zone to see if they kept swinging at it, and a lot of them did."

Entering Sunday, the A's had scored and American-League leading 222 runs and owned a .341 on base percentage.

Oakland will send Drew Pomeranz to the hill, as it enters its second series of a nine-game road trip.

Pomeranz, who started the year as a reliever, has gone from the bullpen to the rotation, seemingly without batting an eye.

In two starts since joining the rotation, Pomeranz has not allowed a run over 10 innings of work. Facing the Rays on Tuesday, Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Pomeranz will have a chance to work deeper into the game.

"It has been pretty remarkable for him to go out the first time and give us 70 pitches, the next time give us 80-some pitches, and now be in a situation where you're looking at maybe 100 pitches, maybe a little below that," Melvin said.

Pomeranz's ability to change his role without needing a stint in the Minors to stretch out impressed Oakland's skipper, and it has helped the A's continue their early season roll.

"It's a credit to him and his belief in himself and what he can do," Melvin said. "It's really been terrific. We don't have to send a guy down and stretch him out. All the credit goes to him for being able to do it -- and do it at this pace."

In his manager's eyes, Pomeranz -- a former first-round Draft pick of the Indians before being traded to the Rockies and then to Oakland in December -- has a sky-high ceiling. With Pomeranz thriving in his new surroundings, the proof is in the lefty's numbers.

"A change of scenery is a lot about the mental battles," Melvin said. "You say, 'OK, deep breath, I can start over.'

"The ability has always been there. I mean, he got drafted where he got drafted for a reason."

Pomeranz has 19 strikeouts in his last 15 1/3 innings, and he's getting guys out without a windup. The loss of power isn't enough to make Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young consider tinkering with what has been working.

"There is a benefit based on a little more power," Melvin said. "With him, it's always been about throwing strikes. If he can stay in the stretch -- and he's more comfortable with that -- it's a bit more routine-oriented for him, where he's doing the same thing every time, I'm all for it."

A's: Expectant dad Savery sent to Triple-A Sacramento

Left-hander Joe Savery left the team after Sunday's game to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.

Oakland initially planned to put Savery on the paternity list, but instead, he was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento, to make room for Jeff Francis on the active roster.

Savery threw the final two scoreless innings in Sunday's 13-3 win, giving up two hits and walking one.

Rays: Struggling at home

Since 2008, the Rays have had a distinct advantage over opposing teams while playing at Tropicana Field. However, this season they are just 8-12 at home.

"We just have to play better there," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We just haven't done that. Last homestand was a tough one for us. We've played a little better on the road. I really believe it's all going to straighten itself out. I believe that sincerely.

"... I think there's a lot more offensive push in us. We need to do that to win some more 5-4, 6-5 games, that kind of stuff. But I believe we're going to right ourselves at home. ... If we keep the starting rotation where it's at and keep getting good performances there and start scoring a couple of more runs, I think we're going to be just fine."

Worth noting
• The Rays have signed veteran infielder Jayson Nix to a Minor League deal. Nix joined Triple-A Durham on Saturday and was in the lineup at second base for the Bulls. He has a .216 career average, with 38 home runs and 128 RBIs, in stints with the Rockies, White Sox, Indians, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Phillies.

•The Rays have nine players with at least three home runs. Comments