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Rays lose to Dodgers 7-3 in series opener

Rays offense struggles against Kershaw, who improves to 4-0 on the year.

ST. PETERSBURG — Tonight marked the first career start at Tropicana Field for Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who doesn’t throw like he once did, only topped out at 91 mph with his fastball. That, however, did not seem to matter tonight as he held the Rays to just two runs in his 6.1 innings of six hit ball.

“He looked tough, definitely from the side,” Kevin Cash said speaking on Kershaw’s performance. “He had the fastball going at the bottom of the zone, the slider featured right off that. There is a reason he’s been good for so many years and it was no different tonight. He was really tough.”

Kershaw is now unbeaten in his last 19 starts dating back to July 27th, 2018. He is 10-0 in those starts and the Dodgers have won his last 15 regular season starts.

Jalen Beeks, who came in for Hunter Wood in the third inning, allowed five runs on eight hits in his 4.2 innings of work. The runs and hits allowed were both his most given up since his Rays debut (10-H, 8-ER) on July 28th, 2018. Beeks has been lights out coming into tonight allowing five runs total in his last 22 innings pitched.

It’s gonna be May

The Rays have fallen to 8-9 in the month of May and are now 2.0 games behind the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East.

The team has given up a whopping 20 runs in their previous two games. In their prior four games before that, they gave up only five runs total. These outings have upped the teams ERA from 2.79 to 3.05 for the year.

Garcia stays hot

Avisail Garcia was the lone Rays hitter to reach base in every at-bat against Kershaw tonight. That’s nothing new for Garcia as he now owns an on-base percentage of 1.000 in six plate appearances against the future Hall of Famer.

Garcia finished the evening going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. He’s now hitting .286 this season.

While May has not been the best month for the Rays as a team, Garica has been scorching at the plate. Since April 28th – 15 straight starts for Garcia – he is slashing .339/.409/.559 in 59 at-bats. During that span he’s slugged three home runs and has seven RBI.

Up Next

The short two game series concludes as Ryne Stanek (0-1; 3.70) takes on Rich Hill (1-1; 3.00). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. EST.

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