On the positive end of the spectrum, Mike Zunino hit his fourth homer of the season, on Friday. (Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

After falling in extras on Friday, 8-6, the Tampa Bay Rays look to bounce back on Saturday night. Tampa Bay had, and lost, three leads last night, while Baltimore continually kept the pressure on Rays’ hurlers from the eighth inning on. The loss ended a 15-game win streak against the Orioles.

At 23-16 on the season, the Rays enter play seven games above .500, while the Orioles have won consecutive contests over Tampa Bay and New York on walk-off homers — the first time that’s happened since 2015.

Ryan Yarbrough pitched out of the bulk role on Friday and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks while striking out four on 56 pitches (43 strikes, 77% strike rate) across four innings. The left-hander worked behind opener Jalen Beeks during Friday’s matchup, yet Yarbrough held the Orioles in check as the primary pitcher. Yarbrough’s first three turns in 2022 came as a traditional starter, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return to that role in future outings, however, he is routinely better out of the bulk role. Overall, Yarbrough maintains a 4.20 ERA and 4.16 FIP, with a 1.67 WHIP, and a 1.71 K/BB across 15.0 innings on the season.

Tampa Bay used all of its available relievers on Friday, and it isn’t clear whether they will call up a fresh arm or not on Saturday. Andrew Kittredge did not pitch due to an irritated back. Meanwhile, Wander Franco, who was thrown out at the plate in the top of the 13th inning, did not slide on the play because of right quad tightness.

The New What Next

Jeffrey Springs (1-1, 1.66 ERA) will get the start on Saturday, pitching opposite Kyle Bradish (1-2, 5.06 ERA).

Jeffrey Springs allowed four hits over 4.2 shutout innings on Sunday against Toronto. He struck out two. The closest Springs came to allowing a run was in the third inning when he faced a two-out, first-and-third threat before forcing Vladimir Guerrero to fly out. Springs lowered his season ERA to 1.66 and his FIP to 2.26, with an impressive 6.67 K/BB, and a 0.78 WHIP through 21.2 innings on the season. He is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA across 10 career outings against the Orioles.

Kyle Bradish tossed 4.1 innings on Monday, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks while punching out six versus the Yankees. Bradish got himself into a jam in the third inning, surrendering a run on a Giancarlo Stanton double, however, the big blow against him came in the next frame when Jose Trevino launched a three-run homer. The eight hits given up were his highest total of the season while the four runs matched a season-high. On the other hand, the right-hander has 17 strikeouts over his last two outings after having only five in his prior two turns. In four starts this year, Bradish has a 5.06 ERA and a 4.45 FIP, a 1.36 WHIP, and a 3.67 K/BB with 22 strikeouts across 21.1 innings. He relies primarily on a 95 mph cutter and an 86 mph slider that sweeps across the zone, while also mixing in a hard 82 mph curveball with 12-6 movement and a 90 mph changeup.

You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.

Rays 5/21/22 Starting Lineup

  1. Kiermaier CF
  2. Díaz 3B
  3. Choi 1B
  4. Arozarena LF
  5. Ramirez DH
  6. Bruján 2B
  7. Phillips RF
  8. Mejía C
  9. Walls SS


— Chris Mazza made his first rehab appearance yesterday with Triple-A Durham, however, JT Chargois left after just one pitch, having potentially re-injured his left oblique.

— Something we forgot to write about the other day, Shane Baz remains on track to return to the big-league squad in early June after beginning his rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham, where he logged 2.1 innings and struck out five of the eight batters he faced on Thursday.

Baz threw 19 of 24 pitches for strikes (79% strike rate), did not walk a batter, and allowed one hit — a solo homer. The results, however, were secondary to how the right-hander’s arm responded, the stuff he showed, and how it compared to his electrifying debut down the stretch in 2021.

Thrilled. He was 96 (mph), 99, got a bunch of punchouts. He threw strikes. His off-speed pitches looked well. I was more excited that he felt good (Friday).

— Kevin Cash

Baz will throw a bullpen session on Sunday, after which he will continue his Spring Training-style arm-strength buildup in what will likely be several additional rehab starts. Baz is eligible to come off the 60-day Injured List on June 6.