After moving back into first place in the AL East on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays (27-16) can push their lead to 1-1/2 games over the Yankees with a win this afternoon. A victory would also give the Rays a series win, and allow them to move 12 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Even though he didn’t have his best stuff on Saturday, Blake Snell allowed just one run on six hits and one walk over six innings. He struck out nine. Snell scattered six singles over the course of his outing, while the only blemish came on a third-inning run after he gave up two singles, a walk, and a wild pitch. The southpaw further lowered his ERA and FIP to 3.31 and 2.60 (respectively) and boasts a 1.00 WHIP thus far.
Snell credited 38-year-old journeyman catcher Erik Kratz on his cool, calm demeanor in yesterday’s contest.
For what I had, working with him, you could tell he’s a vet and knows what he’s doing. We talked every inning and were on the same page for the most part. It was fun to work with him, and I’m excited to work with him again. … He’s just very calm. … It was very mutual. … He’s very confident in what he’s doing and what he’s talking about.— Blake Snell
Austin Meadows hit the decisive game-winning home run in the 11th inning.
Not only did he give the Rays the late advantage, but he also cut down Aaron Hicks at the plate as the outfielder got greedy and blew through a stop sign by the Yankees third-base coach.
All this one day after the revelation that New York’s paunchy southpaw, CC Sabathia, tried to intentionally hit Meadows with a pitch on Friday. Meadows initially didn’t think it was intentional, but when shown a video clip of Sabathia yelling toward his dugout saying, “I definitely was trying to hit his ass,” Meadows became utterly aware.
Seeing that afterward, obviously, he was trying to (hit me). You know CC, he’s been around a long time. He’s a competitor. He obviously wanted to take a shot there. … Obviously, we had a beef (between the teams) back and forth. It’s part of the game, honestly. Luckily, I didn’t get hit. But it is what it is.— Austin Meadows
At the end of the day, Jośe Alvarado had a nice bounce-back performance as the Rays collected their first extra-inning win of the season — and moved back into first place by 1/2 game. They also improved to 3-8 in one-run games.
The New What Next
Charlie Morton (4-0, 2.32 ERA) will get the start for the Rays, pitching opposite of opener Chad Green (0-2, 13.97 ERA) on the one-year anniversary of Tampa Bay starting the new pitching strategy.
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 2-1 with a 4.10 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees, and 1-1 with a 5.30 ERA in three starts at Yankee Stadium.
Chad Green allowed two runs in the eighth inning on Friday (one earned). In his prior appearance against the Rays, Green struck out the side. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-3, BB), Brandon Lowe (1-2, 2B, RBI), Daniel Roberts (1-2, 2B)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and noteworthiness are below.
Rays 5/19/19 Starting Lineup
- Meadows DH
- Pham LF
- Choi 1B
- Diaz 3B
- B. Lowe RF
- d’Arnaud C
- Kiermaier CF
- Adames SS
- Robertson 2B
- Morton RHP
— Matt Duffy (hamstring, back) played shortstop with the Class A Stone Crabs in Clearwater on Saturday. That opens the possibility Duffy could get some reps at short when he returns, given the lag in production from Willy Adames and Daniel Robertson.
— Whatcha got going on this afternoon?
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Whatcha got going on next Sunday? We will be partnering with our buds at Golden Dinosaurs Vegan Deli for another #Rays watch party, when the good guys take on the Yankees in New York. Grab a tasty treat and a cold beverage, and join us on the porch. Hope to see y’all then! #RaysAbove #RaysBaseball #GoldenDinosaursVeganDeli #XRaysSpex