After a 4-0 loss to the Evil Empire on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to win the rubber game of the series in a matinee contest Wednesday afternoon. The Rays need a win for a .500 home stand and also to remain above .500.
Right-hander Yonny Chirinos was solid in his big league return to the mound last night, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk while fanning six over 6-2/3 innings. The bullpen should be well rested, as only Yonny Chirinos and Chih-Wei Hu pitched last night.
As always, beware the long ball … the Rays have kept New York in the ballpark during the first two games of the series. The Yankees are 9-12 this season when they don’t homer.
And #Rays option Hu to minors
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 25, 2018
The Rays optioned Hu back to Triple-A Durham this morning, and it appears that Johnny Venters will replace him on the roster, after all Venters is currently in the Rays clubhouse following his final rehab appearance last night with the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Per Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times, Twitter link) it may just be a matter of process, of him (Venters) meeting with Cash and/or trainers.
Venters struck out the side in his last rehab appearance, allowing two hits and a walk, while throwing 18 of 26 pitches for strikes.
The New What Next
Nathan Eovaldi (3-4, 4.26 ERA) will get the start against New York, pitching opposite of Luis Cessa (1-1, 3.00 ERA).
Nathan Eovaldi rebounded from his worst start of the season, allowing one run on six hits while fanning eight over six innings on Friday. The right-hander put together an impressive showing with his only earned run coming off a third inning solo homer by Derek Dietrich. Eovaldi managed to lower his ERA from 4.59 to 4.26 after his most recent performance, and remains the stuff of trade fodder leading up to the trade deadline.
Luis Cessa will be promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Domingo German as the Yankees’ fifth starter. German took the hill in the Yankees’ first game out of the All-Star break and failed to escape the fourth inning, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks. Over 16 career starts in the big leagues, Cessa has performed to a 4.37 ERA in 82-1/3 innings, with 61 strikeouts. The Rays last saw him on June 22nd, when he tossed two shutout innings in relief of CC Sabathia. He gave up no hits, walked a pair, and struck out two. Over his career he is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 24 innings of work against the Rays. Key Matchups: Matt Duffy (1-2, RBI), Carlos Gomez (1-3, HR, 2 RBI), Kevin Kiermaier (2-8, BB)
You can read about the series in our preview, and the starting lineup is below.
Rays 7/25/18 Starting Lineup