After the 7-2 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to win the series this afternoon. The Rays need a win for a winning homestand. Tampa Bay has lost just one series this season.
The Rays bounced back from a pair of tough losses thanks in part to Yandy Díaz, who went 2-for-5 at the plate with two home runs and four runs batted in.
Díaz came to the Rays with just one career home run in 299 plate appearances with Cleveland, yet he’s increased that total by 800% in just over half the plate appearances.
I’ve even surprised myself. I always had the strength, but I’ve surprised myself with the home runs that I’ve hit.— Yandy Díaz
Díaz spoke about his career night, through a team translator, following the game.
Tampa Bay regained the magic at the plate, going 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and scoring five two-out runs. Compare that with Friday, when they hit .125 wRISP.
The New What Next
Blake Snell (3-3, 3.62 ERA) will start for the Rays, pitching opposite of Masahiro Tanaka (2-3, 3.77 ERA).
Blake Snell bounced back from a pair of tough outings and cruised to his third win of the season. Snell gave up just one hit and no walks while striking out nine across six scoreless innings. The southpaw induced 19 swinging strikes (61 strikes overall, a 71% strike rate and a 31% SwStr%) on 86 total pitches. It was a phenomenal performance by Snell, who posted a 12.79 ERA in his first two starts since returning from the IL because of a fractured toe. He is now 3-3 on the season with a respectable 3.62 ERA and 5.56 K/BB over seven starts this season.
Masahiro Tanaka gave up two earned runs on five hits over 6-1/3 innings on Tuesday against the Mariners. He struck out four and walked two. Tanaka struggled in his previous two starts, but he was sharp against Seattle. The right-hander carries a 3.64 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with a 2.86 K/BB across 45-1/3 innings. He relies primarily on an 84 mph slider with glove-side cut and two-plane movement, a whiffy 92 mph four-seam fastball, and a firm 88 mph splitter with arm side fade. Tanaka is 8-4 with a 3.72 ERA in 14 career starts against the Rays. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (2-7, 2B, RBI), Avisail Garcia (4-13, 2B, RBI), Guillermo Heredia (1-4), Kevin Kiermaier (7-23, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BB), Brandon Lowe (2-4, 2B), Tommy Pham (3-5, 2B, HR, 2 BB), Daniel Robertson (1-4, 2B, BB), Mike Zunino (5-16, 2 2B, HR, RBI)
You can read about the series in our preview, and the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 5/12/19 Starting Lineup
- Meadows DH
- Pham LF
- Choi 1B
- Diaz 3B
- Lowe 2B
- Garcia RF
- Kiermaier CF
- Robertson SS
- Bemboom C
- Snell LHP
— Hitless in his last two games, Tommy Pham was hard at work 30 minutes after Saturday’s game was over, hitting off a tee and tweaking his swing with coach Ozzie Timmons.
— Well, that was pretty damn cool!