Kevin Cash celebrated his 500th win on Friday. (Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

After beating the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, 4-3, the Tampa Bay Rays look for the series win this afternoon.

At 46-31 on the season, the Rays have won three consecutive games and enter play 15-games over .500. They are still a half-game in front of the Red Sox in the division. Tampa Bay also has gone 15-3 in the last 18 home games and is 5-0 against Los Angeles in 2021.

As an aside, congratulations to Kevin Cash on the milestone 500th career win.

For the second straight game, Tampa Bay scored the go-ahead run on a mistake by the opposition. On Thursday, the winning run scored on a wild pitch, and last night Brandon Lowe was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded which pushed across the go-ahead run. All told, Rays’ hurlers have limited the opposition to two earned runs or fewer over the life of their current three-game win streak. Could they be turning a corner after their seven-game poor spate of play? One can hope so.

The New What Next

Shane McClanahan (2-2, 4.03 ERA) will make his 11th regular-season start for Tampa Bay, pitching opposite of Alex Cobb (5-2, 4.41 ERA).

Shane McClanahan pitched six strong innings of one-run ball on Sunday, scattering three hits and a walk while striking out eight Mariners. McClanahan delivered the best game of his young rookie season, getting to six innings for the first time this season and ringing up eight batters on curveballs and some pretty nasty sliders. The only real damage done against him was a third-inning solo homer by Luis Torrens, who reached a 95 mph first-pitch fastball located just above the strike zone … Torrens deserves credit for making contact with a quality fastball. McClanahan now owns a 4.03 ERA and a 4.00 FIP on the season, with a 3.85 K/BB, and a 1.30 WHIP over 44-2/3 frames. The left-hander allowed two hits and two walks to the Angels on May 4, while striking out five.

Alex Cobb allowed one unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out eight across 5-2/3 innings in his last turn. Cobb entered the contest having given up five runs in each of his past two starts, and he would have escaped without allowing any runners to cross the plate Friday if not for a sixth-inning error by Jared Walsh. The right-hander struck out eight. The former Ray maintains a pedestrian 4.41 ERA but a 2.40 FIP, with a 1.27 WHIP and a 3.75 K/BB across 49 innings of work. Cobb allowed two runs on five hits and five walks against the Rays on May 4 while striking out eight. Key Matchups: Ji-Man Choi (2-5, 2B, RBI, BB), Brandon Lowe (3-10, RBI, BB), Joey Wendle (4-12, 2 RBI, BB), Mike Zunino (5-13, 2B, HR, 9 RBI, BB)

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

Rays 6/26/21 Starting Lineup

  1. Lowe 2B
  2. Franco SS
  3. Arozarena LF
  4. Meadows DH
  5. Choi 1B
  6. Margot RF
  7. Wendle 3B
  8. Phillips CF
  9. Zunino C
  10. McClanahan LHP


— The Rays pre-trade deadline moves are clearly paying off.

— The Rays placed LHP Josh Fleming (right calf strain) on the 10-day Injured List and recalled Louis Head from Triple-A Durham. There is no word on the severity of the injury or how much time Fleming could miss. The left-hander is optimistic about the injury, saying if it was September or October he would push through it. Luis Patiño pitched on Friday in Durham and is in line to fill Fleming’s spot when it comes up next week.

— Nick Anderson (elbow) and Brendan McKay (shoulder) were among the Rays throwing at the Trop this afternoon.

Anderson told the media he feels good and is optimistic that he can return in August, after the trade deadline.

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