After snapping an eight-game skid, with a resounding 7-3 against the Mariners on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to split their four-game set on Sunday. They’ll have to beat Seattle’s ace to do so.
Blake Snell didn’t have his A+ stuff, however, he made big pitches when he needed to. Snell pitched out of the stretch in each of the six innings he worked, and notched just one strikeout. However, the southpaw held Seattle to 0-for-8 wRISP. While his line was not spotless — he gave up seven hits, walked a pair, and plunked the first batter of his big league career — Snell still went six innings and gave up just two runs.
Snell told Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) he was pleased with the results given that he didn’t have his best stuff:
Jake Bauers also got the 0’fer monkey off his back, going 2-for-4 with a run. The first his of his big league career? a first pitch double lined into the right-center gap.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 9, 2018
Two pitches later, Bauers came around to score on Matt Duffy’s two-base hit to center, tying the game at one apiece.
All told, the Rays scored seven runs on 10 hits and a Seattle error.
The New What Next
Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 3.27 ERA) will get the start for Tampa Bay, pitching opposite of James Paxton (5-1, 2.95 ERA).
Nathan Eovaldi allowed four runs on four hits over five innings on Tuesday. He walked one and struck out four. Eovaldi wasn’t terrible, throwing 66 of 86 pitches for strikes (77% strike rate), and 18 of 21 first pitch strikes. He, however, couldn’t put batters away and was punished for it. In two career starts against Seattle (12 innings), Eovaldi is 0-0 with a 0.75 ERA.
James Paxton got the win on Tuesday, allowing one run on nine hits and a walk while punching out six over 7-2/3 innings against Houston. The nine hits were a season-high — eclipsing his previous high of six — but he was able to work out of trouble thanks in part to three inning-ending double plays. Paxton was otherwise sharp, notching his seventh quality start in eight tries — allowing him to lower his ERA to 2.95. The southpaw also boasts an impressive 4.25 K/BB over 82-1/3 innings. This season he has relied primarily on a 96 mph swing-and-miss four-seam fastball and a hard 82 mph 12-6 knuckle curveball, while also mixing in an 89 mph cutter with heavy sink and a hard 96 mph sinker with little sinking action. Paxton is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against Tampa Bay. Key Matchups: CJ Cron (4-14, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Carlos Gomez (3-12, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 2 BB)
You can read about the series in our preview.
Rays 6/10/18 Starting Lineup
— As Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) wrote, Willy Adames’ return is nigh:
Expect shortstop Willy Adames to be the next of the top prospects called up, and very soon. That will be exciting, but also a bit sticky. Not only because Daniel Robertson has played well at short, but because veteran Adeiny Hechavarria is close to returning from his hamstring injury and won’t have a job, which makes a trade seem likely and imminent.
— In fact, both Hechavarria and Kevin Kiermaier, who reportedly just needs to build up his arm strength, will report to their rehabilitation stints in the upcoming week.