The Rays have lost 16 of their last 18 games, yet the Angels have only fared marginally better, having lost 11 of their last 13. One thing is certain, of these teams will come away with some much needed wins.
Back in May, Tampa Bay swept the Angels over three-games, and it would behoove the team to do the same, if not better, this time around. To be fair, Los Angeles did receive a consolation prize in that series — the selfie-stick record.
Kevin Cash will throw Matt Moore (4-5, 4.67 ERA), Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 3.91 ERA), Drew Smyly (2-9, 5.33 ERA), and Blake Snell (1-3, 3.86 ERA) over the course of the next four days. Mike Sciascia will counter with Nick Tropeano (3-2, 3.25 ERA), Tim Lincecum (1-2, 6.75 ERA), Jered Weaver (6-7, 5.51 ERA), and Hector Santiago (5-4, 4.93 ERA).
Rays series starters
Moore tossed seven scoreless innings on Wednesday, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out six. The lefty held Boston hitless through five innings and escaped a key bases-loaded jam in the sixth while out-dueling David Price. Moore found himself in a similar situation five days prior to this one (vs. Baltimore) when the bottom fell out in the sixth. MattyMoe has now tossed seven scoreless frames in two of his last four starts, while lowering his ERA to 4.67; its lowest point since April.
Odorizzi gave up two earned runs on three hits and three walks, while fanning seven over five innings in a no decision on Thursday. The righty was given a five-run lead through five innings before he allowed pair of runs in the sixth inning, knocking him out of the contest. Unfortunately, the ‘pen blew his three-run lead, keeping him from a potential win. Odorizzi hasn’t posted a quality start in four of his last five starts, while his ERA sits at 3.91 on the season.
Smyly allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks, while striking out eight in a loss on Friday against the Tigers. The lefty held the Tigers in check over the front three innings, yet he failed to handle them the second time through the batting order. He’s collected just one quality start over his last seven turns, and now holds a 5.33 ERA on the season.
Snell relinquished three earned runs on four hits and four walks over 5-1/3 innings in a loss to the Tiger on Saturday. He struck out four. There were several positives to derive from Snell’s start, as the southpaw did throw 18-of-24 first-pitch strikes, and coaxed 10 whiffs. While he got ahead in the count, however, Snell still handed out too many free passes and dished up his first career MLB homer. As I mentioned a week ago, his biggest struggle to date has been with control, and he’ll look to lower his 1.71 WHIP and notch a tally in the win column in the series finale Thursday.
Angels series starters
Tropeano has been recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to start against Tampa Bay. Tropeano was optioned to the minors after being activated from the disabled list last week following his return from a shoulder injury. The righty performed well in his lone start with Salt Lake, allowing just two earned runs on three hits and a walk over 6-2/3 innings, striking out seven. With no lingering concerns about his health, the Angels will have Tropeano assume the rotation spot of Jhoulys Chacin, who has been sent to the bullpen. He mowed down the Rays on May 8th, collecting 10 strikeouts through 5-1/3 innings. Key matchups: Oswaldo Arcia (1-1, BB), Curt Casalit (2-2, 2B, HR, RBI), Evan Longoria (2-3), Brad Miller (2-7, HR, 2 RBI), Logan Morrison (1-4, BB)
Lincecum has yet to prove his worth in his comeback from surgery. The Freak lasted only 3 innings and 4-1/3 inning (respectively) in his two starts, and allowed nine runs on 15 hits in those games — giving him a bloated 11.05 ERA (6.75 FIP) over the last 14 days. Lincecum last faced Tampa Bay in 2013, taking a loss after allowing just one earned run on six hits and a walk over seven innings of work. Key matchups: Desmond Jennings (1-3), Brad Miller (2-3, HR, 2 RBI), Logan Morrison (2-8, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB)
Weaver was brutalized by Houston on Wednesday, allowing six runs on seven hits in just 5-1/3 innings. The soft tosser walked four while striking out three in the contest. Weaver hasn’t been able to fool hitters in 2016, and his HR/9 rate stands at a bloated 1.9. He has allowed at least four runs in four of six June starts. Weaver surrendered two runs (one earned) on six hits over six innings on May 7 in his last start against Tampa Bay. Key matchups: Oswaldo Arcia (2-8, 2 RBI), Hank Conger (1-4), Logan Forsythe (4-13, 2B), Nick Franklin (3-11, RBI, BB), Evan Longoria (6-23, 3 2B, HR, RBI, 3 BB), Steven Souza Jr. (2-7, 2B, HR, 2 RBI)
Santiago allowed one unearned run against the Red Sox on Saturday, striking out and walking four en route to win number five of the season. Santiago had a huge amount of run support in that game, as Los Angeles tagged Clay Buchholz and Boston’s bullpen for 21 runs. Though capable of stringing together nice outings — he’s logged three quality starts in his last four outings — Santiago has been all too susceptible to the blowup this season. Key matchups: Hank Conger (1-3, HR, RBI), Brandon Guyer (1-2), Desmond Jennings (1-2, HR, RBI), Evan Longoria (4-6, 2B), Brad Miller (3-9, 2B, RBI, BB)
— The Rays have placed Desmond Jennings on the 15-day DL with a left hamstring strain. In doing so, they have recalled RHP Tyler Sturdevant from Triple-A Durham for the time being.
— The team announced that RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) will make his first rehab start on Wednesday for the Charlotte Stone Crabs.