After a 4-0 combined shutout against the Marlins on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays will for the sweep tonight. Tampa Bay enters the day a game ahead of New York in the AL East and is 13-5 on the road this season — an MLB best.
If we had to name two heroes from last night’s contest, Charlie Morton and Avisail Garcia would easily make the cut.
Charlie Morton pitched six shutout innings, scattering three hits while striking out five to earn the win in a 4-0 victory over the Marlins. The right-hander had one of his cleanest performances of the season Tuesday and got enough support to take the win. Morton has 61 punchouts over 50-1/3 innings (nine starts) this season and owns a 2.32 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Morton is scheduled to face New York on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Garcia had three hits and three runs batted in on Tuesday night. His first hit, RBI, and run came on a massive 471 solo blast to center field in the second inning.
Garcia’s blast was the furthest ball hit by an opponent in Marlins Park.
Ever the conspiracy theorist, Kevin Kiermaier feels the ball traveled even further than that, and in all honesty, he has a point:
The outfielder drove in a second run in the sixth inning against reliever Nick Anderson with a base hit to left and capped the scoring with a bases-loaded infield hit against Tyler Kinley.
All told, the Rays went 2-for-7 wRISP (.286 BA) and scored a pair of two-out runs.
The New What Next
Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.57 ERA) will open for the Rays tonight, with Jalen Beeks (2-0, 2.48 ERA) likely to be the bulk pitcher. They’ll be opposed by Jose Urena (1-5, 4.82 ERA).
Ryne Stanek will open for the 11th time this season. So far he’s allowed just one run 15.2/3 innings (10 opens, 3 ER, 1.72 ERA).
Jalen Beeks allowed one run on three hits over 3-1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. He fanned three and walked none. The southpaw followed Ryne Stanek and continues to pitch well when utilized as a bulk reliever. With the loss of Tyler Glasnow to the IL, there is the potential for Beeks to temporarily join the starting rotation. He has a 2.48 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and a 2.9 K/BB across 21 innings to begin the season.
Jose Urena allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out three over seven innings on Wednesday. Urena allowed eight baserunners, although he was able to escape trouble most of the night. After giving four combined home runs in his last two starts, Urena kept the ball in the yard and generated 75% groundballs. He has a 1-5 record with a 4.82 ERA and 6.2 K/9 over eight starts this season. Urena is 0-0 with a 0.84 in seven games (one start) against the Rays. He relies primarily on a worm-killer 96 mph four-seam fastball with obvious tail and an 86 mph 12-6 slider while also mixing in a whiffy 91 mph changeup with slight arm-side fade. Key Matchups: Travis d’Arnaud (2-5, RBI, BB), Daniel Robertson (1-3)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 5/15/19 Starting Lineup
- Meadows RF
- Pham LF
- Choi 1B
- Lowe 2B
- Diaz 3B
- Kiermaier CF
- Adames SS
- Bemboom C
- Stanek RHP
— The Rays have an MLB-best 2.88 ERA. Meanwhile, the Marlins have scored just 105 runs (2.62 per contest) so far this year.
— The Marlins are averaging just 2.62 runs per game.
— Matt Duffy (hamstring, back) continued his rehab assignment today, playing third base today for the Class-A Charlotte Stone Crabs.
— Jose De Leon (Tommy John surgery) will start tonight for the Triple-A Durham Bulls.