After dropping the second game of the series last night, 5-3, the Tampa Bay Rays look to get back on the winning side of the ledger Saturday afternoon.
The Rays not only saw their six-game win streak come to an end, the stretch of nine consecutive games of allowing three runs or fewer was also halted. They finished out the month with a 16-11 record — their second consecutive plus .500 month of the season. Tampa Bay starts the day 15 games over .500 overall.
Neither Tommy Pham nor Avisail Garcia was in the lineup last night. Pham exited the game Thursday because of a right lower leg cramp while Garcia did not play due to left hamstring tightness. It appears they are available options off the bench.
Yonny Chirinos will have the unenviable task of keeping Minnesota’s lineup in check. Per Neil Solondz (Rays Radio), the Twins scored four of their five runs yesterday with two out. They have scored three runs or more in 24 consecutive games, tying the franchise record set in 2006.
The New What Next
Yonny Chirinos (6-1, 2.91 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season, pitching opposite of Kyle Gibson (5-2, 4.08 ERA).
Yonny Chirinos tossed five hitless innings, and had a nice Monday afternoon, albeit one where he got a little help from his friends. In the second inning, Avisail Garcia caught a sinking line drive off the bat of Luke Maile. Then in the fourth, Kevin Kiermaier made an outstanding leaping catch in left-center, robbing Rowdy Tellez of a leadoff extra-base hit.
Chirinos, who was on a pitch limit, walked two batters and struck out seven on just 69 pitches (45 strikes, 65% strike rate). Both free passes came with two outs in the second inning, although he recovered to fan Jonathan Davis, to end the threat.
At the end of the day, however, Chirinos was on a 70-75 pitch count — so it was a given that he wasn’t going to pitch all nine innings — but even so, it was a little upsetting to see the hurler get such a quick hook…especially when he was cruising.
Kyle Gibson allowed one run on five hits across seven innings on Saturday. He struck out nine and walked one. Gibson’s only blemish on the day came in the fourth inning when Jose Abreu connected for a solo homer. Gibson has now won five of his last seven starts and has walked just six batters over 42-2/3 innings over that span. Still, he has a 4.08 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 4.29 K/BB on the season. Gibson relies primarily on 94 mph two-seam sinker and a whiffy 85 mph slider with two-plane movement, while also mixing in a 94 mph four-seam fastball with little movement, a firm 86 mph changeup, and an 81 mph 12-6 curveball. He is 2-5 with a 5.80 ERA in eight career starts against the Rays, and 1-3 with a 7.52 ERA in four starts at the Trop. Key Matchups: Yandy Diaz (1-3), Guillermo Heredia (2-3), Kevin Kiermaier (5-11, 3 2B, RBI, BB)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 6/1/19 Starting Lineup
- Meadows RF
- B. Lowe 2B
- Kiermaier CF
- Choi DH
- N. Lowe 1B
- Arroyo 3B
- Adames SS
- d’Arnaud C
- Heredia RF
- Chirinos RHP
— Adam Kolarek (2-1, 4.58 ERA/5.28 FIP), who’s given up runs in five of his last seven appearances, has been optioned back to Triple-A Durham. To fill his spot on the 25-man roster, the Rays have recalled INF Nate Lowe.
— Yandy Diaz, who has been sidelined since being hit by a pitch in New York almost two weeks ago, will play in a rehab game in extended Spring Training this afternoon in Port Charlotte.
— Michael Perez (oblique) could also start a rehab assignment this weekend.