After dropping the first game of a four-game series to the Angels, 5-3, on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to get back on the winning side of the ledger tonight. Tampa Bay has lost three straight at home and six of their last seven at Tropicana Field.
Even so, the Rays enter play 1/2 game behind the Yankees in the AL East since New York has dropped seven of ten overall. Tampa Bay is now 18-17 at home, which is just one game off last year’s total (19-16) at this point in the season. That team finished the season 51-30 at Tropicana Field.
The Rays announced that they will activate Joey Wendle (wrist fracture) from the Injured List (IL). It will be his first time in the lineup since April 24th, when Wendle was hit by a pitch in a home game against Kansas City. To make room for the infielder, Hunter Wood, who threw two scoreless frames last night, has been optioned to Triple-A Durham.
He’s really close. Joe Benge (Head athletic trainer) and our training staff kind of signed off on him. I think we’re looking toward (Friday) of potentially activating him, and then we’ll go from there.— Kevin Cash
Going into Thursday, the Rays had allowed only 21 first-inning runs — the second-fewest in the majors. That number increased to 24 last night after a three-run first, however, that clearly is the exception, not the rule. It will be incumbent on Blake Snell to cool the Angels, who have won three consecutive games by the same margin, 5-3.
Outfielder Austin Meadows wasn’t in Thursday’s lineup fouling a ball off his shin on Tuesday. “No leg issue, just a day off,” said the Rays manager, who has watched Meadows go 0-11 in his previous 11 at-bats.
And as of right now, Anaheim’s bullpen is pretty much all (right-handed), so good chance we’ll see him at some point.— Kevin Cash
It should be noted, Friday’s starter, Andrew Heaney, is a left-hander.
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Blake Snell (4-5, 3.50 ERA) will start for Tampa Bay, pitching opposite of Andrew Heaney (0-1, 5.40 ERA).
Blake Snell allowed one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk on Sunday. With this win, Snell bounced back from his last outing, where he yielded six runs. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner hasn’t pitched poorly over the last month (he’s posted a 2.88 ERA over his last seven outings), rather he hasn’t been given enough run support to win games regularly. He enters play with a 4-5 record and a 3.50 ERA, with a 1.10 WHIP, a .224 batting average against, and 98 strikeouts across 72 innings this season. Snell is 1-1 with a 2.82 ERA in two career starts against the Angels.
Andrew Heaney was tagged for five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out 10 over 5-2/3 innings. In just his third start since recovering from his elbow issues, Heaney punched out 10 batters for the second straight game. Skaggs retired the first eight batters before giving up a pair of singles and a walk in the fourth inning to knot the score at one apiece. Heaney then allowed a home run to Domingo Santana in the fifth inning and a three-run homer to Tom Murphy in the sixth to give Seattle a four-run lead. The 28-year-old now owns a 5.40 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and a 9.33 K/BB. Heaney relies primarily on a whiffy 93 mph sinker with little movement and a swing-and-miss 80 mph curveball. He is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against Tampa Bay. Key Matchups: Avisail Garcia (3-8, 2B, BB), Guillermo Heredia (3-11, 2B, RBI), Daniel Robertson (3-6, 2B, HR, 4 RBI)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness.
Rays 6/14/19 Starting Lineup
- Garcia RF
- Pham DH
- Meadows LF
- Diaz 1B
- Adames SS
- Robertson 3B
- Wendle 2B
- Zunino C
- Heredia CF
- Snell LHP
— Ever conscious about the state of the economy, and when this current redevelopment bubble might break, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman told The St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership to “Look for something to happen (between the Rays and the City of St. Pete) sometime in the next year or so, one way or the other.”
Plans to redevelop the 86-acres the Trop sits on have been unpredictable for about six months, since the team scrapped their plan for a stadium in Ybor City. The Trop site redevelopment plans will move forward whether or not the Rays wanted to keep playing at the location.
We’ve got 86 acres — or 70 if the stadium is still there — that we want to redevelop. We think it’s an incredible opportunity to redevelop. We’ve done a master plan with a stadium and without a stadium on it. We’re looking for a little bit of heads up from the team as to whether we should be talking to a potential master developer about redeveloping it with a stadium or without the stadium, but we want to get moving on it soon.— Rick Kriseman
Discussions with Rays owner Stu Sternberg, who is in town this weekend, and team presidents Matt Silverman and Brian Auld about the future of the franchise continue to be had.
I’ve tried to make it clear to those guys that St. Petersburg is ready to be a partner. We still believe that this is the best city and that is the best location long-term for the team.— Rick Kriseman
You can read about the mayor’s timeline over at St. Pete Catalyst (linked below)
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