A day after the Tampa Bay Rays came out swinging against Jays starter Marcus Stroman, scoring four early runs on six hits in just 1-2/3 innings, they look to win the series against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night in Toronto. The Rays start the day 11 games over .500 for the first time since 2013 (and for the first time in Kevin Cash’s tenure) and eight games back of the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wildcard race.
Last night Yonny Chirinos had another one of those spotty nights where he looked both terrible and terrific. His first inning was so bad, laboring through 25 pitches including back to back walks — and forcing Rays skipper Kevin Cash to get the bullpen warmed up early — then, with a refocused verve, zipped through the next six innings on just 47 pitches. When all was said and done, Chirinos threw seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits, but three walks, on 72 efficient pitches (42 strikes, 58% strikes, 10.3 pitches per inning). The right-hander coaxed 12 ground balls, including three double plays.
Joey Wendle put on another show defensively, but this time at shortstop. Wendle started the above mentioned three double plays, also collecting three more hits to help bolster his Rookie of the Year campaign — pushing his batting average to .302.
Catcher Nick Ciuffo played well in his big league debut, looking comfortable behind the plate Monday night. Even so, Adam Moore, who was placed on the restricted list due to a passport issue, will rejoin the team this evening. To make room for Moore, Daniel Robertson was placed on the 60-day DL, ending any hope of he rejoining the team this season.
Jake Faria was also activated from the taxi squad.
The New What Next
Ryne Stanek (2-3, 2.72 ERA) will open his second game in as many days and will be followed by Jalen Beeks (4-1, 6.08 ERA), who will pitch the bulk of the innings. They’ll be opposed by Sam Gaviglio (2-7, 5.16).
Stanek tossed a 1-2-3 first inning before giving way to Yonny Chirinos for the next seven frames. It’s expected that Stanek will be capped at around one inning again tonight.
Beeks got the win Wednesday, pitching three shutout — and rain-shortened — innings with two strikeouts while allowing four hits and three walks against Atlanta. An hour and six-minute rain delay limited his outing to just three innings and 49 pitches (26 strikes, 53% strike rate, 9/15 first-pitch strikes) — both of which were season-low totals since joining Tampa Bay — although it was still enough to pick up the win for a third straight outing. The rookie southpaw has a 2.63 ERA with a 2/1 K/BB in 27-1/3 innings since the start of August.
Gaviglio allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two across 5-2/3 innings on Monday against Baltimore. Gaviglio sailed through the front five scoreless innings before the wheels fell off in the sixth. He gave up a run on a fielder’s choice, which was followed by a three-run blast to cap off the four-run frame. Meanwhile, Toronto’s offense was unable to muster a single run, so the right-hander was hit with his seventh loss of the season. Gaviglio owns a 5.02 ERA and 1.43 WHIP with 92 punch-outs over 100-1/3 innings. He is 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA in three career starts against the Rays, including 0-2 in two starts this season. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-3, RBI, BB), Jake Bauers (2-2, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Ji-Man Choi (1-2, 2B), CJ Cron (1-4), Matt Duffy (2-6), Kevin Kiermaier (1-4), Mallex Smith (2-5, 2B, RBI), Joey Wendle (3-4, 2B, 2 RBI)
Rays 9/4/18 Starting Lineup
You can read about the series in our preview.