After losing their seventh consecutive game last night, the Tampa Bay Rays look to get back on the winning side of the ledger tonight against the Seattle Mariners.
Tampa Bay stranded 15 runners on the base paths last night, including the tying run on second with two outs in the ninth, in the 5-4 loss. However, their for runs in nine innings matched their sum total of the previous four games, showing signs of life. Even so, during their seven-game skid, the Rays have led just once, and that lead was by only a run. Four of those losses have come against Seattle, and all have been by one or two runs.
Jake Bauers made his big league debut last night. And while his batting line might not show much, Bauers hit the ball on the screws twice, both of which had an exit velocity over 95 mph. His 0’fer had more to do with the luck dragons than anything else. He did make a highlight worthy catch, rushing to the railing of the Rays’ dugout and catching Ryon Healy’s popper in foul territory for an out — a play that Brad Miller had a hard time with the last few weeks.
First big league highlight. ✅
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 8, 2018
The New What Next
Wilmer Font (0-0, 1.50 ERA with Tampa Bay) will open tonight’s ball game, and will be followed by Matt Andriese (1-3, 3.31 ERA) at some point. They’ll be opposed by Marco Gonzalez (6-3, 3.38 ERA).
Wilmer Font has pitched well since joining the Rays, allowing one run (on a Ryon Healy homer in Seattle) over six innings. As Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) noted, Font last year was the PCL Pitcher of the Year, so starting is not necessarily new to him.
Matt Andriese is slated to enter Friday’s “bullpen day” game against the Mariners after opening pitcher Wilmer Font. Rays skipper Kevin Cash had been coy about Andriese’s exact role for Friday’s series opener, a game that Chris Archer was slated to start before his placement on the DL with a left abdominal strain. The right-hander will likely enter the game fairly early on, in the second or third inning, and could potentially find himself working a relatively extensive long-relief outing if he proves effective. Andriese gave up the game winning homer in the Mariners’ 4-3 walk-off win last Friday, after falling behind Mitch Haniger in the bottom of the 12th inning. All told, Andriese is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two games (totaling 3-2/3 innings) against the Mariners.
Marco Gonzalez has allowed only one earned run in 26 innings of work (four starts), including 6-2/3 innings of one-run ball against the Rays on Saturday. The 26 year-old southpaw is 5-1 with a 1.98 ERA over his last eight outings. This season Gonzalez has relied primarily on a firm 85 mph changeup with slight armside fade and natural sink, a whiffy 91 mph sinker, and a 79 mph worm killer curveball, while also mixing in n 88 mph cutter good “rise” and strong cutting action, and a 91 mph four-seam fastball. Key Matchup: Christian Arroyo (1-2, BB), Wilson Ramos (3-5, 2B, RBI), Rob Refsnyder (1-3), Daniel Robertson (2-3)
You can read about the series in our preview.
Rays 6/8/18 Starting Lineup