Another night, another frustrating loss. The Tampa Bay Rays are looking to bounce back against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. The Rays have dropped three consecutive games overall — allowing six runs in each game — and each by one or two runs.
Saturday’s loss can be attributed to a poor sequence of pitches by Charlie Morton in the second inning, and a series of baserunning and hitting gaffes by Tommy Pham.
Morton allowed five runs to the Red Sox in a messy second that included a leadoff single, a pair of walks, a run-scoring hit by pitch, and Andrew Benintendi’s grand slam.
Just fell behind a few guys. I wouldn’t say it was a poorly executed pitch to Benintendi, I would just say it was the wrong pitch.— Charlie Morton
Morton, however, gave up nothing else over the balance of his six-inning outing and kept the Rays in the ballgame, while striking out nine batters. Because of it, Tampa Bay was able to work its way back into the ballgame, ultimately tying the game in the eighth inning on Yandy Diaz’s opposite-field solo home run off of Matt Barnes.
Still, Tampa Bay went 2-for-9 wRISP and stranded six runners on base. The Red Sox were able to coax two important double plays, both off the bat of Pham. The outfielder also made a costly game-ending baserunning gaffe when he was caught too far off first base and picked off with a runner at third.
All I’m going to say is I (screwed) up, and that’s it. I have nothing else to say. I messed up. … There’s no other need to explain.— Tommy Pham
Credit where it is due, the Red Sox did a great job setting the trap. After the game, catcher Christian Vazquez said the coaches “told me to watch for it.” Vazquez made a note of where Pham was and flashed a sign to first baseman Steve Pearce to be ready for a pickoff throw.
Pham has grounded into six of the team’s total 14 double plays on the season and has been caught stealing and/or picked off five times. He hit into 18 double plays in each of the last two seasons … that Pham has hit into 1/3 of that total in just 21 games (13% of the season) is quite alarming.
Tampa Bay hit four triples yesterday, a franchise record, equaling the team’s total over the first 20 games combined. They, however, became the first team to lose after hitting four triples since September 21, 1998, when the Royals fell to the Tigers.
Turn the page.
The New What Next
Tyler Glasnow (4-0, 1.13 ERA) will try to get the Rays back on the winning track, pitching opposite of former Ray David Price (1-2, 3.79 ERA).
Tyler Glasnow tied the longest outing by a Tampa Bay hurler in the first 17 games of the season, although you never would have guessed his final line based on his first three innings of work.
The Orioles, who have outscored opponents 16-5 in the first inning, jumped ahead early against Glasnow. With one out and none on, Trey Mancini singled to right-center and moved up to second on a Dwight Smith Junior’s single to right. Then, Rio Ruiz hit a two-out RBI single to right-center, scoring Mancini. Baltimore’s hitters spat on Glasnow’s curveball, hunted fastballs, attacked him early in the count, and worked him for 26 pitches in the first inning alone.
After Glasnow worked around a leadoff single in the second, Baltimore extended the lead in the third. Smith reached on an infield hit to second; Brandon Lowe had difficulty getting the ball out of his glove. Smith swiped second, then came home on Renato Nunez’s double that deflected off Yandy Diaz and traveled up the third base line.
From that point on, however, Glasnow quietly went to work and threw up four consecutive zeroes — working around a base hit by coaxing a double play in the fourth inning and retiring the final 10 batters he would face in a row.
Glasnow didn’t walk a batter and scattered seven hits while striking out three. He threw 87 pitches (61 strikes, 70% strike rate) total and just 61 over the final six frames.
David Price earned his first win of the season on Sunday, allowing three hits while striking out seven over seven scoreless innings. Price allowed four runs in each of his first two outings but was rewarded for his efforts in his last outing. The former Ray pounded the zone, firing 64 of 92 pitches for strikes (70% strike rate). Price will carry 20 punchouts over 19 frames into his upcoming start on Sunday. Price relies primarily on a whiffy 93 mph sinker, a firm 85 mph circle changeup, and a 93 mph four-seam fastball while mixing in the occasional 90 mph cutter. Key Matchups: Yandy Diaz (1-3), Avisail Garcia (4-15, HR, 5 RBI), Micahel Perez (1-3)
You can read about the series in our preview.
Rays 4/21/19 Starting Lineup
- Diaz 1B
- Pham LF
- Robertson 3B
- Garcia DH
- Wendle 2B
- Heredia RF
- Kiermaier CF
- Adames SS
- Perez C
- Glasnow RHP
— The Rays announced a series of roster moves ahead of Sunday’s contest.
The team placed Austin Meadows (sprained thumb), who has been a big part of what the Rays have done so far, on the Injured List; put Hunter Wood on the Paternity List; optioned Jake Faria back to Triple-A Durham; activated INF Joey Wendle from the IL; and recalled RHP Emilio Pagan, and INF/OF Christian Velazquez.