After a 7-0 shellacking of the Orioles on Friday, the Tampa Bay Rays will go for the series win tonight in the second game of their three-game series against Baltimore. A win would move the Rays to 11 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Tampa Bay has yet to lose a series on the road this season, going 12-4 away from Tropicana Field. As Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) wrote, rain could be a factor tonight as it’s been throughout the trip. This is already only the third time the Rays have had multiple games postponed on the same road trip.
Tyler Glasnow was outstanding last night, allowing just three hits while striking out eight batters across seven scoreless innings. The right-hander retired the first 11 Orioles and didn’t allow a base runner until the fourth inning when he gave up an infield single. Glasnow mixed his pitches — a triple-digit fastball (49 thrown, 38 strikes, 4 whiffs, 78% strike rate) that he was able to move around the zone, a biting curveball (30 thrown, 17 strikes, 4 whiffs, 57% strike rate) with excellent depth, and few new-toy changeups (13 thrown, 7 strikes, 54% strike rate) — effectively and well. All eight of his strikeouts came on the curveball. He is undefeated with a shiny 1.47 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 6.57 K/BB across seven starts this season.
Glasnow got a lot of help from his offense, as the luck dragons appeared to be back on the side of the Rays; a .393 BABIP last night speaks to that.
One of those luck dragonesque hits — a Tommy Pham first-inning check swing RBI double down the right-field line — gave Tampa Bay all the offense it would need.
Tampa Bay now has outscored opponents 30-10 in the first inning.
The Rays were able to add on to that slim, early lead in the middle innings. In the fourth inning, Nate Lowe and Avisail Garcia started a four-run uprising with singles, before Kevin Kiermaier lined out into deep right-field, allowing Lowe to move up to third.
Mike Zunino followed by hitting a first-pitch home run into the left-center field bullpen — the third homer of the season for the Rays’ primary backstop (snapping an 0-17 skid).
They also tacked on a run when Willy Adames and Brandon Lowe hit singles, Tommy Pham walked to load the bases, and Ji-Man Choi hit a sacrifice fly to right, capping the four-run rally.
But they weren’t done, and the Rays scored two more runs in the sixth inning on just one hit. After Orioles reliever, Yefry Ramirez walked the first two batters in the frame, Pham singled to center to put the Rays up by six. Nate Lowe later picked up his first big league run batted in with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Brandon Lowe.
With last night’s win in their back pocket, the Rays enter play Saturday with the best record in baseball at 21-11.
The New What Next
Yonny Chirinos (4-0, 3.48 ERA) will get the start on Sluttering day, pitching opposite of Dylan Bundy (0-4, 6.67 ERA).
Yonny Chirinos struck out four and walked one and scattered two hits while giving up four runs (two earned) over 5-2/3 innings against the Royals. Chirinos followed Ryne Stanek as the opener and came within an out of a quality outing, tossing 73 pitches (46 strikes, 63% strike rate) en route to his fourth win of the season. The right-hander is putting up good numbers this season, sporting a solid 3.48 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP and a 4.33 K/BB over 31 innings of work.
Dylan Bundy gave up four runs on five hits (including two home runs) and three walks while striking out eight over five innings on Sunday. Home runs have been a problem for Bundy, and he gave up two more solo shots in this outing. The right-hander induced 19 whiffs, however, he continues to allow too many baserunners and home runs to be effective. Bundy has a 6.67 ERA with a 2.62 K/BB over six starts this season (28-1/3 innings). The Rays got to Bundy in his last start at the Trop, tagging him for three runs on three hits (including a homer) and two walks over five innings. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-4), Ji-Man Choi (1-2, 2B, 2 BB), Avaisail Garcia (5-9, HR, 2 RBI), Kevin Kiermaier (4-11, 2 HR, 6 RBI, BB)
You can read about the series in our preview, and the starting lineup and Noteworthiness below.
Rays 5/4/19 Starting Lineup
- B. Lowe 2B
- Pham LF
- Choi DH
- N. Lowe 1B
- Garcia RF
- Kiermaier CF
- Robertson 3B
- Perez C
- Adames SS
- Stanek RHP
— Matt Duffy (hamstring, back) played five innings and got three at-bats in a rehab game Friday for the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
It’s encouraging, (but) it’s going to be a little while, I think. In all fairness to Duff, he didn’t have a Spring Training. We’re going to look to get him a bunch of at-bats. Rays skipper Kevin Cash said the Rays will start by playing him at third base, then look at moving him around, depending on how he feels.
It’s encouraging, (but) it’s going to be a little while, I think. In all fairness to Duff, he didn’t have a Spring Training. We’re going to look to get him a bunch of at-bats.
We’ll just kind of take it day to day and see what we’re hearing from him when he tests out his hamstring, his back, all those things. He’ll play some third, (and) the thought in Spring Training (was) to get him out in the outfield. We’ll try to at least get this first week or so at third base and then see how he’s responding.— Kevin Cash
— Outfielder Austin Meadows (right thumb sprain) has gotten his cast off and has started to swing a bat and hit off a tee. Cash said Meadows felt pretty good.
— RHP José De León (Tommy John surgery) will throw two innings tonight for the Stone Crabs. It will be his first professional outing since August of 2017.