After setting season highs in runs and hits Friday night — as the Rays exploded for 16 runs on 20 hits — Tampa Bay is set for a day-night doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles today.
The Rays put up seven runs in the first inning and never looked back. Tommy Pham blasted a home run to right off Dylan Bundy with one out, starting the seven-run outburst.
Kevin Kiermaier doubled and scored on a Yandy Diaz single to center, then Nate Lowe doubled to right, putting runners at second and third. After Diaz scored on a wild pitch, Joey Wendle hit an RBI single and swiped second, putting himself into scoring position. Wendle scored on a Travis d’Arnaud base hit to left before Willy Adames and Austin Meadows each doubled, giving Tampa Bay a seven-run frame, and spelling the end of Dylan Bundy’s night.
In the second inning, Diaz singled against Gabriel Ynoa before Lowe launched a two-run homer to center, putting the Rays up by nine.
Tampa Bay went on to score seven more runs. Offensively, Lowe led the attack with four of the team’s 20 hits, three of the 16 runs batted in, and two runs scored. Seven different players had multiple hits, while all nine starters had a hit before the second inning was complete. They scored five two-out runs, while five of the Rays eight first-inning hits came with two strikes.
Yonny Chirinos allowed just two runs on four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts across seven innings. The Orioles scored two-out runs in the third and fourth innings, their only tallies against the Rays starter. The 25-year-old turned in his best outing since June 7, although he has pitched well over the last month plus. Overall, Chirinos is 8-4 with a 3.11 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 89 punch outs across 107 innings this season.
The New What Next
It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let’s play two today!— Ernie Banks
Brendan McKay (1-0, 2.45 ERA) and Charlie Morton (10-2, 2.32 ERA) will get the start for Tampa Bay, while Baltimore will counter with Aaron Brooks (2-3, 5.01 ERA) and John Means (7-4, 2.50 ERA).
Brendan McKay allowed three runs over five innings on Friday against the Yankees, fanning three while walking none and allowing six hits. McKay gave up a solo homer to Aaron Judge in the first inning and a two-run single to Mike Tauchmann in the fifth. He now owns a strong 2.45 ERA through his first two big-league starts, although his 15.0% strikeout rate is nothing close to the 35.3% mark he managed in Triple-A this season. McKay will be the 26th man and will be recalled on Saturday for the doubleheader.
Aaron Brooks was claimed off waivers from Oakland and will start game one, his first start since April 30th. As Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) noted, David Hess is the 26th man, so he could provide some length.
Charlie Morton punched out 10 while allowing one run on five hits and one walk across 5-2/3 innings on Sunday. Morton found himself in a pitching duel with James Paxton and prevailed by only allowing a solo home run and generating 13 swinging strikes. Morton has back-to-back starts with 10 or more strikeouts and has a league-leading 83 punch outs on his curveball. Morton’s 2.32 ERA is the best in the American League heading into the second half of the season.
John Means allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and no walks while striking out five across seven innings Wednesday against Tampa Bay. Means pounded the strike zone, with 71 of his 98 pitches going for strikes (72% strike rate). After throwing only 84 pitches and working five innings in his first start after being activated off the injured list on June 28, Means posted his longest start since May 6. While his 7.5 K/9 isn’t particularly impressive, Means maintains a 1.0 HR/9 and 2.4 BB/9 across 82-2/3 innings this season. As a result, he currently holds a 2.50 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 2019. Key Matchups: Michael Brosseau (1-3, HR, RBI), Yandy Diaz (1-4, 2B), Avisail Garcia (1-4, RBI), Guillermo Heredia (2-3, 3B), Joey Wendle (1-3)
You can read about the series in our preview, and I’ll post both starting lineups upon availability.
Rays 7/13/19 Starting Lineup (Game 1)
- Meadows RF
- Pham LF
- Kiermaier CF
- Diaz 3B
- Lowe 1B
- Brosseau 2B
- Choi DH
- Wendle SS
- Zunino C
Rays 7/13/19 Starting Lineup (Game 2)
- Heredia CF
- Pham LF
- d’Arnaud C
- Diaz DH
- Garcia RF
- Lowe 1B
- Brosseau 3B
- Wendle 2B
- Adames SS
— 1B/DH Ji-Man Choi (left ankle strain) has been activated from the 10-day DL. Ian Gibaut, who pitched two innings on Friday left and was the only reliever used in the game, has been optioned to Triple-A Durham. That gives the Rays 13 position players to use for the doubleheader.