After the Rangers snapped their nine-game skid on Friday, 5-4, the Tampa Bay Rays look to bounce and get back on the winning side of the ledger this afternoon, in Arlington. At 36-23 on the season, the Rays need to win the next two contests against the Rangers to take the series and end up with their fourth consecutive winning road trip.
Tampa Bay enters play 13-games over .500 and with a one-game lead over the Red Sox in the division and training the White Sox by percentage points for the top mark in the American League.
The Rays went 1-for-7 wRISP on Friday, although they plated a pair of two-out runs on Brett Phillips’ ninth-inning RBI base hit. All told, Tampa Bay stranded six runners on the bags including two when Brandon Lowe struck out to end the game. They will look to turn the tide this afternoon with AL Pitcher of the Month Rich Hill on the bump.
The New What Next
Rich Hill (4-2, 3.32 ERA) will get the start in the middle game of the three-game set, pitching opposite of Kolby Allard (1-1, 3.38 ERA).
Rich Hill allowed three hits and two walks over five scoreless innings. He struck out two. Hill wasn’t in peak form, tossing 37 of 56 pitches for strikes (66% strike rate), yet he still got the job done against a reeling New York offense. He enters the series with a 3.32 ERA and 3.16 K/BB through 59 innings on the season. Hill is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in four career outings (two starts) against the Rangers.
Kolby Allard allowed two runs on two hits and one walk with four strikeouts against the Mariners on Thursday. Making a spot start for the injured Kyle Gibson, Allard made two mistakes in allowing back-to-back solo homers but he pitched well otherwise. He had only seen relief work prior to Thursday and his four innings of work were his most of any appearance this season. Allard’s current 3.38 ERA would be the best of his four-year career if it holds. He is 0-0 with a 7.20 ERA across five combined innings against the Rays. Key Matchups: Ji-Man Choi (1-1), Austin Meadows (1-3, 2B, 2 RBI), Joey Wendle (1-2, RBI), Mike Zunino (1-3)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup is below.
Rays 6/5/21 Starting Lineup
- Margot RF
- Díaz 1B
- Meadows DH
- Arozarena LF
- Lowe 2B
- Brosseau 3B
- Walls SS
- Zunino C
- Kiermaier CF
- Hill LHP