After a 7-2 win over Cleveland on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays have a chance to win their third consecutive game tonight. The Rays have not won or lost any more than two consecutive games in the month of May with seven games left to play. They could also move to 12 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Tampa Bay has scored 15 runs in the past two games. Of note, Tommy Pham, Avisail Garcia, and Kevin Kiermaier homered in each of those contests and accounted for five of the seven runs last night.
Per Neil Solondz (Rays Radio), it’s the first time three Rays players have done that in back-to-back contests.
Willy Adames appears to be heating up. The shortstop has hit three homers in a 20-at-bat span and has batted .316 in the month of May with a .934 OPS.
The New What Next
The Rays will start Blake Snell (3-4, 3.31 ERA) tonight, pitching opposite of Shane Bieber (3-2, 3.22 ERA).
Blake Snell allowed one run on six hits and a walk across six innings in a no-decision against New York on Saturday. He struck out nine. Snell scattered six singles throughout his six-inning stint, pitching very well along the way. His only blemish: a third-inning run on two singles, a walk, and a wild pitch. Snell has a 3.31 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP this season
Shane Bieber was dominant in a complete game shutout against the Orioles, scattering five hits while fanning 15 on 107 pitches (75 strikes, 65% strike rate). The 23-year-old has allowed three-plus runs in four of his 10 starts, but he is still 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA. He has punched out 69 in 58-2/3 innings this season. Bieber relies primarily on a 94 mph four-seam fastball with added backspin and an 85 mph 12-6 slider, while also mixing in a whiffy 82 mph curveball with exceptional bite, and a firm 88 mph changeup with arm-side fade and natural sink. Key Matchups: Ji-Man Choi (3-6, 2 2B), Brandon Lowe (1-4, BB), Tommy Pham (2-8, 2B, RBI, BB)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 5/24/19 Starting Lineup
- Meadows DH
- Pham LF
- Choi 1B
- Garcia RF
- B. Lowe 2B
- Adames SS
- Kiermaier CF
- d’Arnaud C
- Velazquez 3B
- Snell LHP
— Next stop: St. Petersburg! Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) reports that two-way prospect Brendan McKay has been promoted to Triple-A, and will start on Tuesday for the Durham Bulls.
The 23-year-old tossed six shutout innings on Wednesday — bringing his scoreless streak to 20 innings — while fanning nine to give him 62 strikeouts in 41-2/3 innings of work (13.41 K/9). He is 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA in eight games.
With Brent Honeywell still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, McKay becomes the top healthy pitching prospect in the organization. And though he is still working on being a two-way player, he has hit just .167 with two extra-base hits and a .448 OPS thus far.
— With a win tonight, Kevin Cash will have a .500 record with Tampa Bay as a big league manager over four-plus seasons.