Andriese wraps gem as special gift for mom

Rays starter goes 7 strong to earn win in season debut

May 8th, 2016

ANAHEIM -- Ten holes into his round of golf on Thursday, Matt Andriese noticed his Triple-A manager Jared Sandberg racing up from behind in a cart to give him the news: He was going back to The Show.

Andriese finished his round -- and it was a "solid" one according to the right-hander -- and he headed to Anaheim, where he would throw seven strong innings in a 3-1 Rays win over the Angels to complete a three-game sweep.

"Matt Andriese was outstanding," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Set the tone. Not an easy thing to do to come face a big league lineup, come travel cross country. Really looked sharp, made some big pitches."

While it wasn't his Major League debut, Andriese made his first big league start in front of his mother, Lynn, who was on hand to watch with his father, brothers and assorted friends. Being the good son, the Redlands, Calif. native delivered a special Mother's Day present.

After allowing a sacrifice fly in the first, which staked the Angels to 1-0 lead, Andriese looked composed throughout his outing, allowing one run on four hits and three walks while striking out three to earn his first win of the season.

"He does a good job of composing himself," Cash said. "Even if there is some anxious moments out there, sometimes you have to have a poker face. He might be good at that, too. He can hide it a little bit. You watch him at those moments. He refused to give in."

Andriese admitted he experienced some nervousness early.

"A little bit, being back in the stadium that I grew up going to," said Andriese, recounting how the Angels were his team growing up and how his family attended many games at Angel Stadium. "Just knowing I had a lot of family and friends there. I got the nerves going a little bit."

After getting through the first inning, he said he felt fine.

Catcher Curt Casali said Andriese "was awesome."

"He really was," Casali said. "He didn't skip a beat. You never would have known he was in Triple-A before this. He's been doing well down there. He came up and gave us a really solid outing.

"... He's got great stuff. And it's just a matter of being around the zone. The more he's around the zone, the better chance he has of getting outs and getting more swings."

He did get some help in the field. Kevin Kiermaier ran down some balls that didn't look catchable in center field and Logan Forsythe and Steve Pearce combined for a gem in the bottom of the fourth that saved a run.

Andriese helped himself in the sixth. After allowing a leadoff single to Yunel Escobar and walking Kole Calhoun, Andriese struck out Mike Trout swinging then got Albert Pujols to hit into an inning ending double-play that saw Andriese hustle to cover at first to complete the 3-6-1 twin killing.

"I was doing everything I could to get out of that inning," Andriese said. "First and second, nobody out. Even if I give up one there, it's still solid. But to get the strikeout on Trout and then get that double play to end the inning. That was huge."

Andriese will fly on to Seattle with the team but it hasn't been decided whether he'll make another start or head back to Durham.