Tyler Glasnow put together another quality start against Cleveland, yet Shane Bieber was just a bit better on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays saw their 12-game home win streak come to an end with the 2-0 loss — their first home loss since August 8th.
With the game tied at zero in the fifth inning, Yan Gomes launched a 0-1 breaking ball over the centerfield wall, his 14th home run of the season. An inning later, Edwin Encarnacion crushed a first-pitch fastball into the left-field seats, his 30th.
Those were the only runs Glasnow would allow across seven innings as he limited Cleveland to six hits while striking out three.
Tyler Glasnow starts with an up and in fastball, followed by a middle-high fastball, then freezes the hitter with a down and away slider.
Ev principals at work here; hitter gets a 97MPH fastball (RED), followed by an 85MPH slider (YELLOW) along the same tunnel. pic.twitter.com/H57jbNQZ24
— Michael Augustine (@AugustineMLB) September 12, 2018
It was a solid bounce-back performance for the right-hander, who gave up seven runs in his previous outing against Toronto. Glasnow has given up just three runs in 14 innings against Cleveland, yet he has not received any run support.
Bieber, who gave up four runs across 5-1/3 innings on September 1, was dominant Tuesday night. In the first inning, Tommy Pham hit a single, which was the only hit allowed by the right-hander until Ji-Man Choi’s two-out base hit in the sixth. Even though Bieber issued a career-high three walks, the command of his four-seam fastball was masterful, which helped to set up a career-high 11 strikeouts.
That is not to say Tampa Bay didn’t have scoring opportunities.
In the fourth inning, Pham walked then swiped second to start the frame. However, Bieber struck out Choi and C.J. Cron before Joey Wendle lined out to second. Then in the seventh inning, Wendle hit a first-pitch double to left-center before Bieber got Willy Adames to ground out to short and Brandon Lowe to fly out to shallow left. Things began to look up ahen Jake Bauers worked a four-pitch walk, which chased the right-hander in favor of southpaw Brad Hand. Matt Duffy (back strain), who hadn’t started for the second consecutive day, pinch-hit for Nick Ciuffo, and walked on four pitches to load the bases for Mallex Smith and his .365 batting average vs. left-handers. But as fate would have it, after Smith worked the count to 3-0, Hand came back on a 3-2 pitch to get Smith to pop out to shallow left to end the threat.
Meanwhile, Vidal Nuno and Andrew Kittredge combined to keep Cleveland off the board in the eighth, and Jaime Schultz did the same in the ninth, keeping Tampa Bay in the game.
Hand came back out an inning later and retired the side. Finally, Wendle singled to open the ninth against closer Cody Allen, but the Rays got nothing more.
The New What Next
Blake Snell (18-5, 2.06) will get the start in the final game of the series, pitching opposite of Carlos Carrasco (16-8, 3.41 ERA).
Snell threw five innings of scoreless ball on 90 pitches on Friday but was chased in the sixth after giving up a one-out infield hit to Cedric Mullins, then a two-run homer to Joey Rickard. It was Rickard’s fourth homer against Tampa Bay this season, giving him 17 of his 23 total runs batted in against the Rays. All told, Snell struck fanned nine and allowed five hits across 5-1/3 innings and 104 pitches (72 strikes, 69% strike rate, 15/20 first-pitch strikes).
I felt like I was around the zone, for the most part, Snell said. The offense did very well. Gave me a quick lead. All credit goes to them.
Carrasco allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out 14 across eight innings on Friday. Carrasco surrendered an unearned run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly, followed by another run in the seventh. Despite fanning 10 or more batters for the fifth time this season, he left with the game tied at two apiece. The right-hander was sharp following an uncharacteristic outing his last turn through the rotation, allowing five runs across 6-1/3 innings against the Rays. The 31-year-old owns a solid 3.43 ERA/2.95 FIP with 199 strikeouts over 168 innings this season. Carrasco is 4-4 with a 3.21 ERA in nine career starts against the Rays, and 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in four starts at the Trop. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (2-3), CJ Cron (2-3, 2B, HR, RBI), Brandon Lowe (1-3, HR, RBI), Tommy Pham (2-4, 3B, RBI), Mallex Smith (1-3), Joey Wendle (1-4, 2B, RBI)
Rays 9/12/18 Starting Lineup
You can read about the series in our preview.
— Per Marc Topkin, Kevin Kiermaier didn’t want to provide details of what team called “general illness,” but said “It was a tough couple of days for me,” and that he had never felt that bad before, but “Time and rest have helped.” Eager to be playing today.