Despite a quality start by right-hander Yonny Chirinos, the Tampa Bay Rays fell to, and were shut out, by the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night, 3-0. The Rays have been shut out twice this season.
With the ever-present fear of a rain delay in the back of Kevin Cash’s mind, the Rays skipper made the decision to give Chirinos an official start — as opposed to pitching behind opener Ryne Stanek — before the start of the game. Baltimore was clearly receptive of the decision, handing the right-hander a three-run deficit in his first four innings of work, yet nothing after that.
In the first inning, Jonathan Villar doubled to left-center on the first pitch of the game, moved up to third on a single into right by Trey Mancini, then scored when Dwight Smith Jr. bounced into a 4-6-3 double play.
Then in the third inning, Stevie Wilkerson singled to left-center, went to third on Austin Wynns’ single into right, and came home Villar’s RBI groundout.
Baltimore tacked on its third and final run in the fourth inning when Smith homered to center field to open the frame, his sixth home run of the season.
Yet Chirinos was able to go 7-1/3 innings, the longest outing by a Rays pitcher this season. He struck out three and kept the game close for the Rays, who couldn’t capitalize on the chances they were given.
Our chances came early on, and we didn’t capitalize. And like I say, he (Bundy) just got into a really good rhythm.— Kevin Cash
Dylan Bundy, who had allowed nine homers over his 28-1/3 innings of work prior to Saturday’s contest, kept the Rays (who had scored seven runs the night before) off-balance by changing speeds and pitching to the four quadrants of the zone.
After giving up a leadoff single to Brandon Lowe in the first inning, and a double to Avisail Garcia to start the second, Bundy was in control of Tampa Bay’s productive lineup, retiring 10 consecutive batters over one stretch before Daniel Robertson walked with one out in the fifth.
The Rays’ best chance came in the eighth inning after Michael Perez doubled to left field chasing Bundy, and Shawn Armstrong came on in relief.
Willy Adames followed with a swinging bunt in front of the plate. Armstrong fielded the ball but and threw wild to first base, allowing Perez to score from second.
But the umpires ruled that Adames had run out of the baseline, into the grass on the left-hand side of the baseline, and called interference. Adames, who conceded after the game that he was unaware that was interference, was out and Perez had to return to second base.
Tampa Bay will look to win the series in the rubber match on Sunday.
The New What Next
Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.81 ERA) will open for the Rays and will be followed by either Jalen Beeks (1-0, 2.45 ERA) or Ryan Yarbrough (2-1, 8.10 ERA), who was added to the Taxi Squad on Friday. They’ll be opposed by John Means (3-3, 2.81 ERA).
Ryne Stanek is coming off his roughest outing of the season, allowing three runs in one inning against the Royals. Last season, the Orioles were Stanek’s kryptonite as he allowed six runs and five homers over 8-1/3 innings of work. The right-hander pitched a scoreless frame when he faced Baltimore at the Trop, recording three punch outs.
Ryan Yarbrough was brought back from Triple-A Durham after just one outing with the Bulls in which he gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings of work. He struck out seven.
Jalen Beeks fired off 6-2/3 scoreless frames on Wednesday, allowing a hit, two walks, and a hit batsman. He fanned six. Beeks turned in a highly impressive performance after the opener, Ryne Stanek, gave up three earned runs over his sole inning of work. Beeks has excelled in the “bulk guy” role in two consecutive appearances, also blanking the Royals across 4-2/3 innings on April 23, racking up seven strikeouts along the way. The southpaw has put up good numbers, sporting an outstanding 2.45 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, and a 2.6 K/BB across 25-2/3 innings of work
John Means yielded four runs on six hits and a walk over five innings on Monday. He struck out two batters and allowed two homers. Means hadn’t allowed more than one run in any of his seven appearances (three starts) prior to Monday’s outing, yet he has performed to a lucky .271 BABIP, which is belied by a 4.48 FIP. Put another way, he’s been very lucky this season. Means relies on a whiffy 92 mph four-seam fastball with a lot of backspin and an 80 mph changeup with slight cut action, while also mixing in an 84 mph slider with little depth, and a 76 mph 12/6 curveball.
You can read about the series in our preview, and the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 5/5/19 Starting Lineup
- Diaz 3B
- Pham DH
- Robertson 2B
- Garcia RF
- Choi 1B
- Zunino C
- Kiermaier CF
- Heredia LF
- Adames SS
- Stanek RHO
— Casey Sadler was optioned back to Triple-A Durham in order to make room on the 25-man roster for Yarbrough.
— RHP Jose De Leon worked 1-2/3 innings for the Class-A Charlotte Stone Crabs on Saturday, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits, two walks, and a wild pitch. De Leon, who likely would be a bulk innings guy upon his return, threw 14 of his 33 pitches for strikes (42% strike rate). He sat at 90-92 mph in his first official game since 2017, which is much harder than he was throwing in his injury-plagued 2017 season.
— OF Austin Meadows (right thumb sprain) had “a really good day,” in the words of Kevin Cash, taking batting practice at Tropicana Field off the high-velocity machine and is slated to work out with the Rays on Monday and Tuesday then begin a short rehab assignment.
— 3B Matt Duffy (hamstring, back) “felt very good” after his first rehab game with the Stone Crabs, with no issues from the hamstring or back injuries that hampered him since Spring Training. As John Vittas (media relations for the Stone Crabs) tweeted, Duffy finished the night with a good defensive play sliding to his left to field a hard grounder. He went 0-for-3 (two flyouts, one groundout) but most importantly, Duffy looked healthy. He will play next on Sunday.