After falling back to Earth thanks to an 8-2 loss to Seattle — also snapping their four-game win streak — the Tampa Bay Rays look to earn their first win of the season against the Mariners tonight. The Rays are 0-5 against the M’s in 2021, and 6-15 against them at the Trop extending back to 2014 — their worst home record against any opponent over that stretch.
At 64-43 on the season, the Rays enter play 21-games over .500 and one-game ahead of Boston in the division, while Seattle is three games behind Oakland for the final playoff spot.
Last night’s loss was only the team’s 10th of the season by a margin of five or more runs. In contrast, the Rays have won 22 games by at least five runs.
The New What Next
Luis Patiño (2-2, 4.26 ERA) will get the start for the Rays, pitching opposite of Yusei Kikuchi (6-6, 4.01 ERA).
Luis Patiño allowed three hits and two walks while striking out eight across six scoreless frames on Thursday against the Yankees. Patiño dominated the Yankees lineup throughout the outing and out-pitched Gerrit Cole to earn the win. The right-hander flashed great swing-and-miss stuff, inducing 19 swinging strikes across 97 total pitches. With Rich Hill out of the picture, it’s reasonable to project that Patiño will remain in a starting role. On the season, Patiño has a 4.26 ERA and a 3.66 FIP, with a 1.17 WHIP, and a 3.60 K/BB across 31.2 innings of work.
Yusei Kikuchi was tagged for four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks across five innings on Wednesday against Houston. He struck out seven. Kikuchi didn’t have his best stuff and delivered another subpar outing, as he has now allowed at least three earned runs in each of his last four turns. Even though he has fanned at least seven in three straight outings, the left-hander also owns an inflated 7.71 ERA during that aforementioned four-game stretch. On the season, Kikuchi has a 401 ERA and a 4.40 FIP, with a 1.16 WHIP, and a 3.26 K/BB across 114.1 innings of work. He held the Rays to one run on four hits across seven baffling innings in June, with six punchouts. Key Matchups: Nelson Cruz (4-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB), Manuel Margot (2-5, BB), Austin Meadows (1-3)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 8/2/21 Starting Lineup
- Arozarena RF
- Franco SS
- Cruz DH
- Díaz 1B
- Meadows LF
- Margot CF
- B. Lowe 2B
- Mejía C
- Wendle 3B
— The Rays should receive more information Chris Archer today on when he will make his next rehab start in Durham. The right-handers last outing, on Sunday, was cut short on Sunday due to left hip soreness. Archer couldn’t get his footing on the mound and the move was precautionary. He, reportedly, felt better on Monday.
— The Rays have optioned RHP Chris Mazza to Triple-A Durham and selected LHP Dietrich Enns from Durham. To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Ryan Thompson (right shoulder inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Enns has had a strong season at Triple-A, maintaining a 2.44 ERA and a 2.73 FIP, with a 0.92 WHIP, and a 5.00 K/BB across 59.0 relief innings.
Enns boasts a 92-95 mph four-seam fastball, while his cutter and changeup are his best secondary options, making him effective against both left-handed and right-handed hitters.
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