Tagged in: Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays take game 2 to even the series one game apiece

Through all the struggles, all the moments when it looked like he should be dropped down in the lineup or out of it altogether, Brandon Lowe believed.

He had built himself into one of the American League’s best hitters, and no slump, not even one during the playoffs, could derail that. The Tampa Bay Rays kept believing in Lowe, too. And in Game 2 of the World Series, both were rewarded handsomely for their faith.

Lowe became the first player ever to hit two opposite-field home runs in one World Series match, and the Rays’ bullpen bent but didn’t break as they held on for a 6-4 triumph Wednesday night to even the series at one game apiece.

The 26-year-old Lowe, an All-Star two years ago as a rookie and a down-ballot MVP candidate this year, had endured a brutal postseason: 6-for-56 with 19 strikeouts and not one multi-hit game among the 15 the Rays had played. And yet Tampa Bay never wavered — he sat only one game and pinch hit in it — confident that Lowe would find his swing.

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Lowe, hitting in the No. 2 hole, punished a 95 mph fastball from rookie starter Tony Gonsolin out to left field, giving the Rays an early advantage. He piled on with a two-run shot off rookie Dustin May in the fifth inning, pushing the Rays’ advantage to 5-0.

In the meantime, Rays starter Blake Snell hadn’t permitted a hit, striking out two Dodgers in each of the first four innings.

Following the fourth, Snell bounded off the mound, shouting into the expanse of Globe Life Field, to no one and everyone among the crowd of 11,472. He looked like his Cy Young-winning self, his fastball, curve ball and slider confounding a group of Dodgers hitters who in Game 1 piled up eight runs through power, patience and proficiency wielding the bat.

Lowe’s multi-homer game was the 55th in World Series history, the seventh by a second baseman and the first by a Rays player. And it continued Tampa Bay’s trend of needing home runs to score. They set a record with 28 home runs this postseason, and entering the World Series, nearly 72% of their runs had come via the longball.

The return of the Lowe who helped lead the Rays to the AL East title was a welcome sign for a Tampa Bay team whose offensive struggles were of paramount concern — particularly with the prospect of falling down 0-2 to the Dodgers. Lowe had hit .269/.362/.554 with 14 home runs in 56 games during the regular season and ranked just behind Juan Soto and Ronald Acuña Jr. in wins above replacement.

Now, after a Thursday off-day, the teams return for Game 3 with the best pitching matchup of the series: Dodgers ace Walker Buehler versus Rays stalwart Charlie Morton.

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Houston Astros survive to force Game 6 vs Tampa Bay Rays in ALCS

The Tampa Bay Rays had a shot to advance to the World Series and send the Houston Astros packing for the second consecutive night at San Diego’s Petco Park on Thursday. And for the second straight night, they did not get it done.

The Astros have prevailed with a 4-3 Game 5 triumph in dramatic fashion as Carlos Correa hit a walk-off homer in the ninth inning.

Let’s dive in on the key storylines and things to know from Game 5. 

Correa’s been possibly the most vocal Astros player this postseason when it comes to wanting to silence the team’s critics. After a lackluster offensive regular season (.264 average with a 92 OPS+ and five homers), Correa is now hitting .342/.457/.816 with six homers in the playoffs.

Yes, more home runs in the postseason than regular season. He’s now two homers away from tying the record for the most homers in a single postseason (see the note in the Arozarena section below for more on this). 

Further, Correa’s clutch exploits in the playoffs are notable. His three career walk-off hits tie David Ortiz for the most ever in the postseason (via ESPN Stats and Info). Correa also hit a walk-off homer the ALCS last year, coming vs. the Yankees in Game 2.

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The Astros went with a bullpen game, which is just a game full of relievers. Luis Garcia started the game and worked two innings, he was followed by Blake Taylor, Enoli Paredes, Andre Scrubb, Brooks Raley (it was all rookies through this point, by the way), Josh James and Ryan Pressly. They got through the nine innings permitting just three runs on seven hits. All this with their backs against the wall. 

The Rays used John Curtiss as an opener.

That is, a pitcher who throws around one inning before giving way to the pitcher — usually of the opposite hand — who is designed to pitch the most innings in the game. That was Josh Fleming, who was usually a starter in 2020. Curtiss went 1 1/3 innings before Fleming went three. 

Overall, it was a commendable effort from both pitching staffs. Lots of the big names were either unavailable of carrying in big postseason workloads. 

The Astros are trying to run this thing to the distance after trailing 0-3 while the Rays are looking to avoid facing the chance of joining the 2004 Yankees in making dubious history and losing four consecutive games after taking a 3-0 lead.

The pitching matchup is the same as Game 1 with Blake Snell going for the Rays and Framber Valdez getting the ball for the Astros.  Of the 39 teams in the MLB playoffs to ever face a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series, the Astros now join the 1998 Braves, 1999 Mets and 2004 Red Sox as the only teams to force a Game 6.

Both the Braves and Mets lost Game 6. The Red Sox won out to make history. The Astros are looking to be the second team to do that, but they’ll need to get Game 6 first. 

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Manager Aaron Boone will turn to rookie Deivi Garcia to start Game 2 for New York Yankees

By taking the mound in Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series versus the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, rookie Deivi Garcia will make history.

The 21-year-old Dominican-born pitcher will become the youngest player to make a postseason start in New York Yankees franchise history (at 21 years and 140 days).

Despite only six major league starts under his belt, manager Aaron Boone said he opted to go with Garcia due to the maturity he has displayed this campaign.

According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, the only other 21-year-old to make a postseason start for the Yankees was Whitey Ford in Game 4 of the 1950 World Series (21 years, 351 days).

“We deliberated on that a lot over the last several days,” Boone stated Monday ahead of Game 1 of the ALDS at Petco Park in San Diego.

“Masa [Masahiro Tanaka] will now go in Game 3. So just like slot and Deivi in between [Game 1 starter Gerrit] Cole and Masa was the way we wanted to go.

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“I think the way he’s pitched, and the way he’s handled himself and handled every situation so far. I felt like I wanted to go this way a couple days ago but wanted to continue to flesh it out because we could. Ultimately today, this morning, decided this is the way I wanted to go. I just felt [we had] a lot of good options there, [different] ways we could have gone. I don’t worry about him not being able to handle it, mentally, emotionally and all those things and I know he’s looking forward to it.”

The rookie right-hander concurred.

“Super excited,” Garcia said of his reaction upon hearing the news from Boone. “When they finally told me that I was going to get the ball for Game 2, what can I say? Just so excited about it. At the same time, very thankful for the opportunity and I will try to go out there and do the best I can.”

Tuesday’s start will also make Garcia the fifth-youngest player in American League history to make a postseason start, and the youngest player born outside the United States to make a playoff start in the AL.

Overall, only Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers Julio Urías (20 years, 68 days) and Fernando Valenzuela (five times) were younger in making a postseason start among players born outside the U.S. Garcia, who stated he idolized Hall of Fame starter Pedro Martínez growing up in the Dominican Republic, reiterated that it was an honor to make pinstripes history.

Including a subpar outing at Fenway Park, Garcia finished the coronavirus-shortened 2020 regular campaign with a 4.98 ERA in 34⅓ innings pitched.

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Astros turn to Verlander, looking to close out Rays

After getting walloped by the Rays 10-3 Monday in Game 3 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field, Hinch flipped the win switch to on, announcing the Astros will be going with Verlander on short rest Tuesday to try to close out the Rays. The Astros lead the series, 2-1.

Hinch made the right move because he has the best insurance policy right behind Verlander in Gerrit Cole, who has won 17 straight games.

Cy Old will go Tuesday and, if needed, Cy Young will pitch Game 5 in Houston on Thursday. Hinch is betting on Verlander so there will be no need for a Game 5 starter, and Cole would be good to go in Game 1 of the ALCS. That would put Verlander in line to be on regular rest for Game 2.

“He’s one of the best pitchers in the world,’’ Hinch said. “No more complicated than that. He’s ready, and it’s his game.’’

Remember, after Verlander defeated the Rays in Game 1, Kevin Cash said, “We got Verlander-ed.’’ It is simple and it’s also a testimony to how good the Rays are because Hinch is saying, “If you are going to beat us, you are going to have to do it in five games and go through Verlander and Cole.”

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Verlander acknowledged he has not been used in a situation like this in the last few years, saying, “Closest we came was out of the bullpen a couple years ago in Boston. I mean, the thought process is five-game series are pretty crazy and we’ve got to win. Never know what can happen. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket and say, ‘If we lose [Tuesday], we’ve got Justin and Gerrit on Game 5.’ It’s a crazy game.

“The last couple days, I’ve felt pretty good. A.J. and I have been discussing it. He made the call.’’ This series is all about Big Game starters. The Astros got it in their first two starts with Verlander and Cole throwing 14 ²/₃ innings of shutout baseball and the Rays got it Tuesday from Mr. Elimination Game, Charlie Morton, who did his winning thing once again through five innings.

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Seattle Mariners vs Tampa Bay Rays

Seattle Mariners vs Tampa Bay Rays

Seattle Mariners (34-29) at Tampa Bay Rays (29-32)
MLB Baseball: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm (Tropicana Field)
T Walker (3-6) (3.48) vs. J Odorizzi (3-3) (3.47)

 Taijuan Walker will try to build off of his strong start last week when he and the Seattle Mariners go up against Jake Odorizzi and the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. In their first series against each other this year, the Mariners were able to sweep the Rays in Seattle.

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The Seattle Mariners have fallen from first in the American League West with defeats in seven of ten so a quick turnaround is needed. The Mariners are coming off of a 6-4 loss to visiting Texas on Sunday where the pitching struggled and the offense couldn’t make up the difference. M’s starter Wade Miley fell to 6-3 with three runs plated on four hits and a trio of BB while Steve Johnson gave up three runs without recording an out. Seattle produced nine hits and walked three times with Leonys Maryin going solo while Robinson Cano went 2-5 with an RBI and run.The Mariners go with Taijuan Walker on the hill for the series opener at Tampa Bay. Walker comes off of his best outing in a 5-0 win versus the Indians in which he tossed eight scoreless innings.
 

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The Tampa Bay Rays have been playing some of their best baseball of the season and it has to continue with the team still under .500. The Rays have won seven of ten after knocking off Houston 5-0 Sunday behind great pitching and a five run 5th. TB starter Matt Moore tossed a two hit shutout over seven innings while whiffing ten to up his record to 3-4. The Rays offense totaled nine hits and walked three times with Mike Mahtook knocking in two while Desmond Jennings drove in a run and scored.Tampa Bay gives Tuesday’s start to Jake Odorizzi for his first meeting with the Mariners in 2016. Odorizzi defeated Arizona 6-3 last time out with all three runs plated on five hits and three BB in five frames. 

 

Notes

  • Tampa Bay has won 48% (12-13) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Seattle has won 61% (17-11) of its games when taking a late lead.
  • The Mariners managed to give up six walks in their last game. They’ll have to pick it up against the Rays who are heading in with a 4-2 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
  • When they outhit their opponents, the Rays are 19-5. The Mariners have a 27-7 record when outhitting opponents.
  • Ranking 21st, Tampa Bay is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 255 this season. Seattle ranks in the top five at fourth with 315.
  • Ranking 11th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.747). Seattle ranks in the top 10 at sixth with an OPS of .772.
  • The Mariners are 22-23 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Rays are 14-29 when they allow at least one homer.

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New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay Rays

New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay Rays

Both the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays are looking to snap a minor losing streak when they face off today at 7:10PM ET.

The Yankees are putting Masahiro Tanaka on the mound tonight to face Chris Archer of the Rays. According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Tampa Bay is favored at home, as they are getting odds of -115 to win. New York is listed with a money line of +105 to prevail, while the over/under total is set at 7 runs.

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The New York Yankees are just trying to hold on to the momentum of the past few weeks and avoiding losing streaks is the only way to do that. The Yankees had won six in a row but now have dropped back to back contests following a 3-1 loss to the visiting Blue Jays on Thursday. Yanks starter CC Sabathia was done in by poor defense and a lack of support with a pair of unearned runs allowed on two  hits and a base on balls over seven frames to drop his record to 3-3. The Bronx Bombers totaled six hits and three walks with Starlin Castro blasting his 6th homer. The Yankees give the series opening start at Tampa Bay with Masahiro Tanaka on the bump. Tanaka is shooting for back to back wins after defeating Oakland 5-1 with lone run scored on five hits over seven innings.

 

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The Tampa Bay Rays appeared to be finding the groove but have tailed off the past week. The Rays recent funk continued with a 9-1 loss to visiting Miami on Thursday and saddled the team with defeats in five of six. Nothing went favorably for the Rays with starter Drew Smyly charged with five runs on six hits through six innings to fall to 2-6 with Ryan Garton giving up three runs on six hits in two innings. TB mustered seven hits and walked twice with the lone run scoring on Brandon Guyer’s 6th homer while Corey Dickerson enjoyed a three hit afternoon. Tampa Bay kicks off the series with visiting New York with Chris Archer on the mound. Archer is coming off of a 9-4 loss at Detroit with six runs allowed on eight hits in three frames.
 

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Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

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The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field after a long nine-game road trip to start a ten-game home stand. Tampa Bay, who entered the road trip 64-66 and 4.5 games back of the second wild card, did not help their chances during the trip that started off with such high hopes. After winning the first two games of the road trip in Baltimore, they lost 5 of the next 7 games, losing 2 out of 3 to both the Yankees and Tigers. The end results are a road trip of 4-5, which is even more heartbreaking with two losses coming in extra innings.

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The Tampa Bay Rays have played well for the most part this season but they are going to fall short of the post-season. The Rays are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 33-35 at home, and they are 11 games back in the AL East. As a team the Rays are hitting .250 with Logan Forsythe hitting .287, Evan Longoria hitting .273, and Asdrubal Cabrera hitting .264. The Rays pitching staff has an ERA of 3.68 with the starters at 3.65 and the bullpen at 3.74. For game one against the Red Sox the Rays start Chris Archer who has allowed 148 hits and 60 earned runs while striking out 228 over 187.1 innings for a 12-11 record and a 2.88 ERA
The Boston Red Sox are in last place in the American League East but they have been more competitive since the All Star Break. The Red Sox are 6-4 in their last 10 games, 27-38 on the road, and they are 13 games back in the AL East. As a team the Red Sox are hitting .267 with Xander Bogaerts hitting .318, Mookie Betts hitting .286, and Brock Holt hitting .279. The Red Sox pitching staff has an ERA of 4.50 with the starters at 4.57 and the bullpen at 4.39. For game one against the Rays the Red Sox start Wade Miley who has allowed 174 hits and 83 earned runs while striking out 129 over 168.2 innings for an 11-10 record and a 4.43 ERA.

Tampa Bay is 8-1 at home against a left-handed starter, 2-5 in their last seven games, and 2-5 in Archer’s last seven starts in game one of a series. Boston is 5-1 in their last six games, 2-7 in their last nine road games against a team with a losing home record, and 0-5 in Miley’s last five road starts. Tampa Bay is 0-4 in Archer’s last four starts against the Red Sox.

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Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers

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Detroit Tigers (62-74, 5th in AL Central) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (67-69, 3rd in AL East)

When: 1:08 p.m.
Where: Comerica Park in Detroit

STARTING PITCHERS
Detroit Tigers
LH Randy Wolf (0-3, 6.11 ERA)
Lifetime vs. Tampa Bay: 2-2, 4.95 ERA

Tampa Bay Rays
LH Drew Smyly (2-2, 3.11 ERA)
Lifetime vs. Tigers: Never faced Detroit

Randy Wolf (0-3, 6.11 ERA) and Drew Smyly (2-2, 3.11 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Detroit Tigers (62-74) and the Tampa Bay Rays (67-69) at Comerica Park. Action begins at 1:08 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 7

Wolf pitched 3.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering eight runs, striking out two and walking three in a 12-1 defeat to the Royals. Smyly went 7.0 innings, surrendering zero runs, striking out 10 and walking one in an 11-2 win over the Orioles in his most recent start. Logan Forsythe (.290, 60 Rs, 15 HRs, 54 RBIs, 9 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.

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Tampa Bay takes on Detroit as a -132 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at eight runs. The Tigers have recorded an overall money line of -1,038 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 28-45. Detroit has recorded a disappointing 2-7 record as the underdog over its last 10 games. The Tigers have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 3.2 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.4 runs per game. Detroit’s pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 7.1 runs per game, well above its season average of 5.0.

In games where it is the favorite, Tampa Bay has a 32-29 record and an overall money line of -312.

The Rays lead the season series, 2-1. The Tigers have an 18-15 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they’ll be facing when Smyly takes the mound. Wolf (LHP) will be on the hill against the Rays, who have a very good 24-14 record against left-handed starting pitchers.

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Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays

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Detroit Tigers (48-52) at Tampa Bay Rays (51-51) — 12:10 PM ET

Tropicana Field — St. Petersburg, FL

(foxsports.com)-Even when they’ve pitched well lately, neither Detroit’s Justin Verlander nor Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer can pick up a victory. It’s been a whole lot longer, though, since Verlander got one.

Wednesday’s series finale between the Tigers and Rays at Tropicana Field may be regarding who will be Archer’s catcher.

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Even if Curt Casali isn’t, manager Kevin Cash could give him a first career start at designated hitter after the unheralded rookie homered four times through two games of this series. Casali appears to have taken the starting role from Rene Rivera, who is batting .176 and is 1 for 17 since the All-Star break. Casali has six homers in 20 plate appearances since the break

Archer (9-7, 2.67), meanwhile, is winless in a career-high five straight starts while going 0-3, equaling his worst losing streak. He couldn’t be blamed for not winning his two games since the break, getting no run support as he yielded three runs in 13 innings while striking out 15. The All-Star also threw 6 2-3 scoreless innings in a 12-inning loss at Yankee Stadium on July 3.

Archer is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in three starts versus Detroit.

When We Last Met

The Detroit Tigers futility claimed another victim on Tuesday as David Pricewas hit hard by his former team. The Tampa Bay Rays had not scored more than four runs since July 8 and have now done it in back-to-back games, putting up 10 runs in the 10-2 shellacking. This drops Detroit four games under .500 and will look to avoid a sweep Wednesday afternoon.

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