The Tampa Bay Rays look to start a new winning streak this afternoon after dropping their first game in almost a week on Friday to the Athletics, 2-1. Tampa Bay lost for only the second time in the last 11 road games, while both losses were by one run. Both also were in walk-off fashion.
The Rays were held hitless into the eighth inning by Sean Manaea when a former teammate of his, Mike Brosseau, lined a double to right-center before Mike Zunino plated Tampa Bay’s sole run on a single up the middle. Manaea’s (almost history-making) start overshadowed Rich Hill’s quality start…but make no mistake about it, the southpaw pitched really well.
The 41-year-old got off to an inauspicious start, gifting Oakland’s leadoff batters a free base in each of the first three frames — either by way of a walk or hit-by-pitch. Because of it, Hill worked almost exclusively out of the stretch in those early innings. Yet, the left-hander got into a groove and allowed just one batter to reach base across his final three innings, ending his outing by retiring seven in a row. All told, the left-hander allowed two singles and two walks while striking out four. After performing to an unsightly 8.82 ERA through his first four turns, Hill has allowed only two earned runs across 15 innings (three appearances). He enters his next start with a 5.17 ERA/4.36 FIP and a 3.20 K/BB on the season.
It should be remembered that both low-budget ball clubs typically play tight ballgames, and that was no different last night. The Rays enter play Saturday with a 2-3 record against the Athletics, while all five games have been decided by one or two runs. As Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) pointed out, “Since July 22, 2016, 21 of the last 28 meetings between the two teams have been decided by one or two runs. Overall, the Rays are now 32-61 at the Oakland Coliseum, their lowest winning percentage at a current AL ballpark.”
The New What Next
Tyler Glasnow (4-1, 2.06 ERA) will get the start this afternoon, pitching opposite of Frankie Montas (3-2, 5.87 ERA).
Tyler Glasnow surrendered three runs on four hits and four walks across six innings on Monday. He struck out eight Angels. The right-hander rolled through five scoreless innings before he coughed up a pair of homers in the sixth to Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon. However, after issuing just three walks over 19-2/3 innings to begin the season, Glasnow has now walked 12 batters in 24 innings over his last four starts. Regardless, he’s sporting a strong 2.06 ERA and 4.27 K/BB. He held the Athletics scoreless across seven innings on April 28 while striking out 10.
Frankie Montas allowed three runs on a walk and seven hits across six innings Monday, while striking out four against the Blue Jays. Aside from a third-inning where the Blue Jays scored three runs on five base hits, Montas kept Toronto’s bats fairly quiet. He now has four quality starts over his last five outings and lowered his season ERA to 5.87. One of those quality starts came against Tampa Bay on April 27, when Montas allowed three runs on six hits (including a home run) and a walk across six innings. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-2), Kevin Kiermaier (2-7, 3B), Manuel Margot (1-2), Francisco Mejía (2-3, 2B), Brett Phillips (1-3, HR, 2 RBI), Yoshi Tsutsguo (1-2, 2B)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness also are below.
Rays 5/8/21 Starting Lineup
- Arozarena LF
- Meadows DH
- Díaz 3B
- B. Lowe 2B
- Wendle SS
- Kiermaier CF
- Zunino C
- Tsutsugo 1B
- Phillips RF
- Glasnow RHP
— Francisco Mejía has been placed on the 10-day Injured List, retroactive to May 6, with left intercoastal discomfort. Rats manager Kevin Cash is hopeful it will be a minimal stint. Meanwhile, LHP Ryan Yarbrough — who was placed on the COVID-19 related IL due to a vaccine reaction on Friday — has been reactivated. To create space on the 40-man roster, Chris Archer was transferred to the 60-day IL. Per Solondz, Archer also has been away from the club due to a personal matter, and Cash says because of the time to build him back up, it made sense to move him to the 60-day IL. As a result of the roster moves, Kevan Smith was added to the roster to fill in for Mejía.