After dropping two of three to the Blue Jays, the Tampa Bay Rays departed the friendly confines of Tropicana Field for Fenway Park, where they will start one last series against the Red Sox on Tuesday. The Red Sox dropped two of three to the White Sox over the weekend.
At 95-62 on the season, the Rays enter play 33 games over .500 with five games left to play.
Given that the path to an AL East title has narrowed, the team’s focus has shifted (albeit unofficially) to remaining competitive in the final five regular season games, while also getting Yandy Díaz, Luke Raley, Randy Arozarena, and Robert Stevenson healthy for the postseason, which starts on October 3. While Díaz, Arozarena, and Stevenson have not been placed on the Injured List, all three of them missed time in the series against Toronto; Raley was placed on the 10-Day IL and can return by the playoffs. All four players have played crucial roles on the roster this season, and their returning healthy is far more important than winning five meaningless contests. Meanwhile, depending on how quickly he can recover from a hairline fracture incurred on September 12, José Siri could, conceivably, return to the fold by the end of the week. Knowing how conservatively the Rays handle injuries, though, it’s far more likely that he would return by the start of the postseason.
Expect Kevin Cash to roll out players who are competing for spots on the playoff roster — such as Osleivis Basabe, Jonathan Aranda, and Erasmo Ramírez, for example — while others will be deployed strategically to both keep them fresh and off their feet. Think of it as Spring Training 2.0.
Even with the injuries, the Rays’ offense has fared well the last seven days, putting up a .277 BA/.356 OBP/.418 SLG/.774 OPS slash line, with a 121 wRC+. Compare that to the 75 wRC+ Red Sox over the same stretch, slashing .243 BA/.307 OBP/.354 SLG/.661 OPS.
The Rays enter play with an overall 3.84 ERA and 3.81 FIP (3.90 ERA and 3.62 FIP for the starters, 3.76 ERA, and 4.04 FIP for the relievers). Over the last seven days, Tampa Bay has looked like crap, putting up a 5.50 ERA and 4.70 FIP (5.52 ERA and 3.52 FIP for the starters, and a 5.48 ERA and a 6.30 FIP for the relievers).
Meanwhile, the Red Sox pitching staff has put up a 4.57 ERA and 4.42 FIP on the season (4.75 ERA and 4.55 FIP for the starters, 4.35 ERA, and 4.28 FIP for the relievers). Those numbers are even worse over the last seven days, pitching to a combined 5.14 ERA and a 4.50 FIP (4.45 ERA and a 4.12 FIP for the starters, 6.17 ERA and a 5.13 FIP for the relievers).
Tampa Bay is 9-2 against Toronto this season, with a +23 run differential.
Over the next two days, Kevin Cash will call on Zach Eflin (15-8, 3.44 ERA, 2.98 FIP), and Tyler Glasnow (9-7, 3.68 ERA, 3.03 FIP). Alex Cora will counter with Tanner Houck (5-9, 4.92 ERA, 4.46 FIP), and Brayan Bello (12-10, 4.11 ERA, 4.42 FIP).
Zach Eflin struck out 10 in Thursday’s win over the Angels. He allowed two runs on six hits and one walk over five innings. Eflin reached the double-digit strikeout mark for the third time this season and has an active streak of seven consecutive starts allowing three runs or fewer, dating back to August 19. Over that stretch, Eflin is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 8.33 K/BB over 40.1 innings. Eflin has shined in his first season in Tampa Bay boasting a 3.44 ERA and 2.98 FIP, with a 1.03 WHIP, and a 7.58 K/BB over 172.2 innings.
Tanner Houck allowed two runs on three hits and four walks over four innings against the Rangers. He struck out four. Houck didn’t have his typical command Tuesday, walking four batters and hitting another to tie his season high in walks allowed. And while he limited Texas to three hits, one of them was a solo homer by Adolis Garcia in the second frame. Over four September starts (20.1 innings), Houck owns a 2-1 record to go along with a 4.87 ERA and 2.1 K/BB. Key Matchups: Yandy Díaz (2-7), Josh Lowe (1-1, RBI, BB), Harold Ramírez (1-4, BB), Raimel Tapia (1-3)
Tyler Glasnow allowed four runs on three hits and four walks over 5.1 innings against the Blue Jays. He struck out seven. Glasnow was cruising along until the sixth inning when his command evaporated. His four walks equaled his season high (June 14 vs. Oakland). In eight starts since returning from a back injury on August 14, the 30-year-old pitcher has gone 4-4 with a 4.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 4.07 K/BB over 46.1 innings.
Brayan Bello allowed eight runs on eight hits and four walks over three innings in a 15-5 loss against the Rangers. He struck out two. It was a brutal outing for Bello, who was tagged for a season-high eight runs. Texas did most of its damage in the second inning, scoring six runs on six hits, including a pair of homers. Coming into the contest, Bello hadn’t allowed more than three runs in his last six starts. His ERA is now up to 4.11, while his FIP sits at 4.42, with a 1.32 WHIP, and a 3.00 K/BB across 27 starts (151 innings) this year. Key Matchups: Jonathan Aranda (2-4, RBI), Yandy Díaz (5-7, 2 2B, RBI, BB), Josh Lowe (4-11, 2 2B, 3 RBI), Manuel Margot (1-3, RBI), Harold Ramírez (1-3, RBI), Raimel Tapia (3-3, 3B, 3 RBI, BB)
— The Rays rolled out their postseason information site recently including information on pop-up parties, yard sign distribution, and flash tattoo events. You can find information on all those events below, as well as on the team’s webpage.
The Rays are coming to your area! Attend one of our Postseason Pop-Up Parties for fun, exclusive promotional items and soft serve icees from Carousel’s!
Experiences and Giveaways
- Car Flags
- Randy Arozarena Boot Can Koozies
- Yard Signs presented by Bayfront Health
- Celebrate with Raymond & DJ Kitty
Pop-Up Party Schedule
Saturday, September 30
Bob Gardner Community Park in Lakewood Ranch
2710 White Eagle Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Hyde Park Village in Tampa
742 South Village Circle, Tampa FL 33606
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Walter Fuller Park in St. Petersburg
2800 75th Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 1
Oscar Cooler Sports Complex in Lutz
770 Lutz Lake Fern Road, Lutz, FL 33548
12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Dunedin Community Center
1920 Pinehurst Rd, Dunedin, FL 34698
3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Yard Sign Distribution Sites
Rays Up Tampa Bay Yard Signs, presented by Bayfront Health, Distribution Sites
Fans can pick up Rays yard signs presented by Bayfront Health and car flags at select partner locations during each business’ regular operating hours, while supplies last.
Please note: Distribution begins Saturday, September 30.
330 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Chicken Salad Chick
1221 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767
Coppertail Brewing Co.
2601 E 2nd Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
7671 US Hwy 19N Pinellas Park, FL 33781
6222 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33614
4501 34th St N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33714
Suncoast Credit Union
Downtown St. Pete – 1022 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33705
South St. Pete – 2120 34th St. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33711
Flash Tattoo Events
Rays Flash Tattoo Events
Make your loyalty to the Rays fandom permanent by receiving a free Rays tattoo at one of our two flash tattoo events. The first 50 per location can select one (1) of five available Rays tattoo designs! These events will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis. You must be 18 years or older to receive a tattoo and provide a valid ID.
- When: Monday, October 2
- Time: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- First 50 people per location
Poison Ivy Ink – St. Petersburg
218 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Poison Ivy Ink – Temple Terrace
9722 N 56th St, Temple Terrace, FL 33617
- Tattoos will be 2-3 inches
- Tattoos are available on arms or legs only
- Flash tattoos are limited to one (1) tattoo per person
- Make sure to stay hydrated and eat before arriving
- You are allowed to bring foldable/portable chairs to accommodate any wait
- Fans are not permitted to line up to receive flash tattoos until 1 p.m. at each location
- Please Note: All flash tattoo designs are final as is. Color and design changes are not permitted
St. Petersburg parking will be the general city parking spaces or the Sundial parking garage
Tampa parking will be in the parking lot of the plaza where the shop is located
All participants must be 18 years of age or older and provide valid ID to receive a tattoo. Participants must agree to sign waivers for both the Tampa Bay Rays and Poison Ivy Ink prior to receiving a tattoo. Tipping your artist is not required, but is strongly encouraged.
— The Rays also released the 2023 postseason schedule as it pertains to potential Rays’ games. Note: MLB has not yet released the start times for the games. You can see that calendar below.