After a frustrating six hour and five minute 13-6 loss to Boston on Friday night, the Tampa Bay Rays look to bounce back this afternoon. Tampa Bay has dropped six of eight games after getting back to the .500 mark.
As Neil Solondz (Rays Radio Blog) noted, Kevin Kiermaier did homer for the third straight game, tying the longest streak of his career. Wilson Ramos had his first multi-homer game with the Rays, and gave the Rays 23 homers from their catchers, adding to the franchise’s single-season record. Kiermaier also flashed his Gold Glove defense last night.
Is that Superman? Nope, just @KKiermaier39.
— #Statcast (@statcast) September 16, 2017
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 16, 2017
The New What Next
Alex Cobb (11-9, 3.59 ERA, 4.16 FIP) will get the start for the Rays, pitching opposite of Rick Porcello (9-17, 4.64 ERA, 4.56 FIP).
Cobb has won his last two outings and has delivered quality starts in each of his last three, the most recent of which came against Boston. The right-hander held the Red Sox to just one earned run, although it took him 93 pitches to navigate five-plus innings. Cobb is 6-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 13 career starts against Boston, and 23-18 with a 3.07 ERA in 57 career starts at the Trop.
Porcello kept the Red Sox in the game last time out although he lost, allowing two runs on five over innings against the Rays. Porcello enjoyed a strong outing overall, although it was tarnished in the fifth inning when he allowed a pair of runs on four hits and a walk. He ran up his pitch count and did not return for the sixth, marking the second consecutive outing in which he failed to complete six innings. While it was an improvement on the seven runs he allowed in his previous turn, the sinkerballer has still allowed 14 runs over 21-2/3 innings in his last four outings. In five starts vs. Tampa Bay in 2017, Porcello is 1-4 with a 4.91 ERA. Key Matchups: Peter Bourjos (2-7), Curt Casali (3-10), Danny Espinosa (1-3, HR, 2 RBI), Evan Longoria (15-58, 6 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB), Brad Miller (11-34, 4 2B, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB), Logan Morrison (10-34, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB), Steven Souza Jr. (9-30, HR, RBI)
Rays 9/16/17 Starting Lineup
Souza Jr. RF
— The Durham Bulls became the second Rays affiliate to win a championship last night, joining the Hudson Valley Renegades. The Bulls beat the Yankees affiliate 6-4 to win the International League title 3-1.
— Todd Conard (@TCinNC) September 16, 2017
It marked the first time in eight years that the Rays had two title winners in one season.
INF Jake Bauers was named Finals MVP, while INF Daniel Robertson homered and drove in four runs. The Bulls will play on Tuesday in the Triple-A National Championship in Scranton, PA against either Memphis or El Paso.