5:00 Update below.
After an impressive 5-1 win over the Red Sox, in which Yonny Chirinos was dominant across eight strong innings, the Tampa Bay Rays will play a day-night doubleheader at Fenway Park today. Tampa Bay has won three consecutive games against Boston — all on the road — and are 21-9 on the road this season, an MLB best.
Chirinos limited the Red Sox to just two hits and two walks over eight scoreless frames. He struck out six. The right-hander was perfect through the front five innings (15 batters) before walking Brock Holt to lead off the sixth. After loading the bases, Chirinos struck out Andrew Benintendi looking on a 96 mph sinker and got Rafael Devers to swing through an 87 mph splitter to end the threat.
Chirinos was difficult to square up, as he coaxed 12 weakly hit ground balls from Boston’s aggressive lineup. The right-hander was denied a shot at his first career big-league shutout and complete game due to an elevated pitch count and was pulled in favor of Emilio Pagan after throwing 101 pitches (62 strikes, 61% strike rate). He now carries a 2.87 ERA and a 4.23 K/BB across 69 innings of work.
The challenge will be for the Rays’ pitching staff to use Chirinos’ start as a template against one of the best hitting lineups in baseball. With Morton’s seven-inning start on Thursday, and Chirinos’ deep start last night, the bullpen should be well-rested.
As Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) wrote, because this is a doubleheader that was announced more than 24 hours in advance, each team has a 26th man all day. Austin Pruitt, who threw 84 pitches his last time out one week ago, is the 26th man for the Rays. In addition, Casey Sadler, who threw 56 pitches his last appearance, was called up yesterday and also is stretched out.
The New What Next
Ryan Yarbrough (4-2, 6.23 ERA) will start for the Rays in game one, pitching opposite of southpaw Josh Smith (0-1, 4.91 ERA).
Ryan Yarbrough fell on the sword for the Rays bullpen on Sunday, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out four across seven innings against the Twins. Yarbrough was hit hard throughout the middle of his start, with all of his earned runs coming in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. He didn’t allow a home run, yet the left-hander gave up a bases-clearing double to C.J. Cron which accounted for three of his seven charged runs. Yarbrough is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in six games (one start) against the Red Sox, and 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 8.0 total innings of work at Fenway Park.
Josh Smith will make his second start of the season for the Red Sox. Smith fanned 11 across five innings in his last start for Triple-A Pawtucket on June 3rd.
In game two, the Rays will call on RHP Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.88 ERA) to open the game. It is likely that Austin Pruitt and Colin Poche (more on his call up below) will throw at some point. They will pitch opposite of former Ray David Price (3-2, 2.83 ERA).
David Price held the Yankees to two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six across 6-1/3 innings of work on Sunday. The former Ray blanked New York over the first three frames before a fourth-inning wobble, when the southpaw gave up a home run to Luke Voit, followed by three consecutive singles to load the bases. Gio Urshela followed with a sacrifice fly to score Gary Sanchez, allowing New York to cut the deficit to one run. Price was able to limit the damage when Aaron Hicks got caught stealing home for the final out of the frame. In spite of the messy inning, he looked sharp overall. He carries a 2.83 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 4.92 K/BB into his matchup against Tampa Bay. Price is 5-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 15 starts against the Rays. Key Matchups: Christian Arroyo (1-4), Yandy Diaz (3-7, HR, RBI, BB), Kevin Kiermaier (6-21, 2 2B, HR, RBI, BB)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineups for both games (among other things) will be added as the day progresses.
Rays 6/8/19 Starting Lineup (game one)
- Meadows RF
- Pham LF
- Lowe 2B
- Garcia DH
- Choi 1B
- Diaz 3B
- Kiermaier CF
- Adames SS
- d’Arnaud C
- Yarbrough LHP
Rays 6/8/19 Starting Lineup (game two)
- Robertson 2B
- Diaz 1B
- Meadows DH
- Garcia RF
- Adames SS
- Zunino C
- Kiermaier CF
- Arroyo 3B
- Heredia LF
- Stanek Opener
— Tommy Pham exited the first game with a right wrist contusion after being hit by a pitch in the second inning. X-Rays on the injury came back negative, and he is eligible in the second game of today’s doubleheader even though he is not in the lineup.
— Following the first game of the doubleheader, the Rays optioned RHP Casey Sadler back to Triple-A Durham and recalled LHP Collin Poche, who was added to open spot on 40-man roster vacated by the DFA of Erik Kratz.
Per Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) Poche tried to get from the team hotel to Fenway Park toward the end of the first game. He was stuck in traffic in an, so he got out and walked about a mile carrying his team bag. Got a few odd looks, but no one said anything. “Couldn’t be late on the first day,” Poche said.
— The Rays have now won five straight over the Red Sox in Fenway, the longest streak in franchise history.
— After homering in his first game for advanced Class-A Charlotte Stone Crabs on Thursday, Joey Wendle (fractured right wrist) will take his rehab to Triple-A Durham. Rays manager Kevin Cash said, “He’s getting closer (to returning). We’ll continue to see how he feels day by day coming in and the different type of swings that he’ll take in some of those games.” It is likely that either Christian Arroyo or Daniel Robertson will be sent down when Wendle returns.
— Good on the Rays for packaging a tandem of Rays and Rowdies games next Saturday. $30 is a pretty darn good deal for a pair of games.