Note: I didn’t get much sleep last night, thanks to a sick puppy, and I have my doubts that I’ll be able to write something coherent because of it. If you’re looking for a game recap, check out the incomparable Neil Solondz (Rays Radio), or DRaysBay.
The New What Next
The bright side of the loss, the Rays still have an opportunity to bounce back Wednesday afternoon against former Ray, David Price (8-4 4.68), who is 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA against Tampa Bay. Fellow southpaw Matt Moore (3-5, 5.04) will take the mound for the good guys in the rubber match.
Moore, who has gone at least six innings in four straight starts, was perfect through 4-1/3 innings in his last start, but squandered a three-run lead against the Orioles. The lefty is 3-4 with a 5.40 ERA against Boston, and has not faced the Red Sox in 2016.
Telling reporters that he’d hate to face Price in the rubber match of the series, because he’d “hate to do that to him,” Moore spoke about his forthcoming start before Tuesday’s contest.
Moore (and the rest of the pitching staff) will try to end a string of 13 straight games where the Rays have allowed five runs or more — the longest such streak of any Major League team since the Royals (13 straight) June 27 – August 10, 2005. During that 13-game stretch, the Rays bullpen has a 9.00 ERA (36 IP, 36 ER).
Price is coming off a start where he was knocked out 2-1/3 innings against Texas. The rough outing broke a string of eight consecutive quality starts, while his ERA jumped to 4.68. Incidentally, the second shortest outing of the season came at the hands of Tampa Bay, for whom he has posted a 1-2 record and a 4.26 ERA against. In that start, Price allowed eight runs on eight hits and two walks, including two homers, in just 3-2/3 innings of work.
Rays 6/29/16 Starting Lineup
— Tampa Bay will get a boost to the active roster on Wednesday, as Brandon Guyer will be activated ahead of the matinee this afternoon. Jeff Decker, who hit just .138 (four singles) in 10 games with the Rays, was designated for assignment to make room for Guyer.
Guyer last played on June 3, when he sustained a left hamstring strain. He took over as a starter early in the season and played well, hitting .271 with six home runs and 14 RBI in 40 games prior to the injury.
— Food for thought: With 12 games left before the All-Star Break, if the Rays can go 8-4 over that span, they will end the ceremonial first half of the season with a 40-48 record, and in a much better position to play relevant baseball in the second half.