After eking out a 4-3 win in Seattle on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to continue their newfound success against the Mariners tonight.
At 16-10 0n the season, the Rays enter play six games over .500 for the first time this season. Tampa Bay is now 12-12 in one-run games against Seattle extending back to 2013.
Shane McClanahan completed 5.1 innings against the Mariners on Thursday and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five. After punching out at least seven batters in each of his first five starts of the season, McClanahan racked up a mere five modest punchies and induced just eight whiffs. Be that as it may, the southpaw kept Seattle off the board for the first four frames and departed after 5.1 frames having done enough to earn the win. McClanahan has yet to surrender more than three runs in an outing this season and has looked like an ace with a 3.06 ERA and a 3.13 FIP, with an 0.99 WHIP and 5.22 K/BB across 32.1 innings.
Meanwhile, Mike Zunino launched a three-run homer to left, making it 4-0 in the top of the fourth inning and giving the Rays all the runs they would need.
The New What Next
For the third time this season, Matt Wisler (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will open in front of Josh Fleming (2-3, 6.32 ERA). They’ll pitch opposite of Logan Gilbert (4-0, 0.64 ERA).
Matt Wisler has thrown 3.2 scoreless innings combined in the two previous outings as an opener, including two scoreless against Seattle on April 26th.
Josh Fleming surrendered six runs (five earned) on five hits across 3.2 innings on Sunday against the Twins. He had one strikeout and three walks. The left-hander threw 53 of his 77 pitches for strikes (68% strike rate) and delivered first-pitch strikes to 16 of the 19 hitters he faced, but he was unable to take advantage of that success early in the count. Fleming issued only three walks over his first four outings of the season, but he doubled that total Sunday. It’s been tough going early in the campaign with a 6.32 ERA (but a 4.03 FIP), and a 1.85 WHIP across 15.2 innings. Fleming gave up seven unearned runs on four hits and a walk in his last turn against the Mariners.
Logan Gilbert allowed one run on three hits and four walks over 5.2 innings against the Marlins on Sunday. He struck out five. Even without his best control, Gilbert managed to hang zeros on the scoreboard en route to his fourth win in five turns. The right-hander has allowed a total of 18 hits in 28 innings this season, and only two of those hits have gone for home runs. He seems to be in the midst of a breakout with a 0.64 ERA early on, which, however, is belied by a 3.04 FIP and a .225 BABIP. Regression will happen sooner or later, perhaps Friday. He blanked Tampa Bay across 5.2 innings a couple of weeks back, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out seven. Key Matchups: Randy Arozarena (2-8, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI), Brandon Lowe (2-6, 2B), Manuel Margot (2-5, HR, RBI), Taylor Walls (1-2), Mike Zunino (1-4, HR, 2 RBI)
You can read about the series in our preview, and I’ll post the starting lineup upon availability.
Rays 4/6/22 Starting Lineup
- Diaz 1B
- Franco SS
- Arozarena LF
- Lowe 2B
- Ramirez DH
- Kiermaier CF
- Walls 3B
- Mejia C
- Phillips RF
— Ji-Man Choi (loose bodies in right elbow) was the DH yesterday in an extended Spring Training game in Port Charlotte and will play first base today. He could be activated from the Injured List and rejoin Tampa Bay during the road trip if all goes well.