Blake Snell bounced back to post a solid 6-2/3 inning start, while Wilson Ramos homered twice on Friday night. When all was said and done, the Tampa Bay Rays won their fifth consecutive game, 8–3 over the Los Angeles Angels. With the win, the Rays clinched a winning 11-game road trip, pulled to within a game of .500, and enter the day tied for third place in the AL East.
Snell didn’t put together a perfect inning until the sixth, yet he made big pitches when he needed to, holding the Angels scoreless until the fifth when Andrelton Simmons hit a two-run, two-strike single to center with one out — cutting the lead to four runs. Still, the southpaw stranded leadoff doubles in the second and third innings, and held Los Angeles to 1-9 with runners in scoring position.
After the Simmons single, Snell retired his next seven batters, collecting three punch outs along the way. He scattered four hits and two runs over 6-2/3 innings, walking three and fanning eight. Snell threw 70 of 114 pitches for strikes (61% strike rate).
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 19, 2018
Daniel Robertson got the Rays on the board with a solo shot in the second inning, but he was not the only Ray to go yard Friday night.
Ramos hit a pair of homers, giving him six on the season and 100 in his big league career. His first long-ball, a two-run blast to center, came off Nick Tropeano in the third inning when the Rays were up by one. Later in the frame, Mallex Smith drove in a run on a single, chasing Tropeano after just 2-2/3 innings — Tropeano’s shortest start this season, and the first time an Angels starter had allowed more than three runs since April 28th.
Ramos homered again the fifth inning off Cam Bedrosian, while Christian Arroyo later added a run-scoring hit for a six run advantage.
Tampa Bay was not content with five runs, and put up a six spot after Johnny Field laid down a bunt in the seventh inning, which was mishandled by Martín Maldonado, scoring Arroyo from third base; he initially reached third when he laced a triple into the right-field corner.
.@arroyo_c: how’d I look out there?
Us: real good, man. you looked real good. pic.twitter.com/V0P6lWRkVD
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 19, 2018
And while Mike Trout got off the schneid by hitting a homer in the eighth inning off Chaz Roe, Field capped the scoring in the top of the ninth when he singled home Smith from third. Jonny Venters took over one out in the eighth and got the final five outs of the game.
All told, the Rays collected 15 hits, three from Brad Miller and Smith. Robertson reached base three times, and over the first two days of the series, the infielder reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances.
The New What Next
The Rays will look to get back to .500 on Saturday for the first time since March 30th. Sergio Romo will get the start and will be followed by Ryan Yarbrough (3-2, 3.93 ERA). Mike Scioscia will counter with southpaw Andrew Heaney (2-2, 3.93 ERA).
Ryan Yarbrough allowed one run on five hits and three walks over five innings to earn his third win of the season on Monday against the Royals. He struck out four. Yarbrough put together a somewhat surprising outing, in that his strike to ball rate sat at 60% as he walked three batters. It will be interesting to see if the southpaw can bounce back against Mike Trout and the Angels, who he has never faced.
Andrew Heaney fanned 10 over eight solid innings of one-run ball against the Astros on Monday. He later described the outing as the best of his career. Heaney has pitched to a 1.80 ERA over his last four starts for the Angels, although he is 6-4 with a 4.16 ERA in 17 starts at home. This season the left-hander has relied primarily on his 92 mph swing and miss sinker and a hard 80 mph curveball, while also mixing in a firm 84 mph worm-killer changeup with armside fade and natural sink. He has never faced the Rays. Key Matchup: Brad Miller (2-2)
You can read about the series in our preview.
Rays 5/19/18 Starting Lineup
— Even though Adeiny Hechavarria felt better on Friday, he acknowledged he was still quite sore after straining his hamstring th night before. Because of it, Hechavarria is headed to the DL.
The Rays have recalled a fresh arm, Ryne Stanek, since Robertson can cover shortstop and Arroyo is already on the 25-man roster and can cover multiple infield positions.
— RHP Nathan Eovaldi (arthroscopic elbow surgery) returned to the mound for his third rehab outing, throwing 47 pitches (35 strikes) over three innings for the Charlotte Stone Crabs. He allowed two hits (one homer) struck out four, and hit 99 mph on the stadium gun. He is slated to work out with the Stone Crabs for a few days and then the team will decide if he needs to make a planned fourth rehab start or rejoin the big league squad, possibly as soon as Wednesday.
— RHP Yonny Chirinos (forearm strain) threw a bullpen session Friday and will advance to live batting practice on Monday.