After a road trip that started disastrous (swept in KC) and ended with the Tampa Bay Rays winning five of their last seven (3/4 in MINN, 2/3 in ARI), a long home stand was just what the doctor ordered, right? It kicked off with a three-game set against 2015 AL Wild Card Houston Astros.
GAME 1 – Andriese/Colome stay perfect as Rays take opening game.
Rays 4 Astros 3
Matt Andriese took his 4-0 record to the hill on Friday against Tampa native Lance McCullers. Steve Pearce would lead the offense with a three-hit, two-RBI evening en route to a one-run victory for the Rays. Logan Forsythe, back in the lineup off the DL, also provided two hits and an RBI along with an RBI from shortstop Brad Miller. A three-run sixth inning off Andriese was capped off by a two-run bomb from Jason Castro making way for Erasmo Ramirez, Xavier Cedeno, and a lock-down Alex Colome to notch his 18th save in as many tries in 2016, a club record to begin a season.
W: Matt Andriese (5-0) L: McCullers (3-2) S: Colome (18)
GAME 2 – Archer sharp but can’t hold leads as Rays fall on Star Wars Night.
Astros 4 Rays 3
The Rays offense gave starter, Chris Archer, two leads in his 7.2 innings on Saturday and the ace couldn’t hold them. Brad Miller added his sixth home run early on in the third inning and Evan Longoria continued his career season with home run number 15 in the sixth, the fastest he’s ever reached that many bombs in a season. But in each inning the Rays bats would back up their starter, Archer would give it right back to Houston in the top of the following frame. Despite the loss, Archer threw 118 pitches and didn’t offer a free pass, throwing 78 of them for strikes. Erasmo Ramirez was erratic in relief as a wild pitch in the eighth inning brought home the go-ahead run for the Astros.
W: Fiers (4-3) L: Archer (4-8) S: Harris (3)
GAME 3 – Moore outduels Keuchel as Rays take series from ‘Stros.
Rays 5 Astros 0
It was quite the pitchers’ duel between Matt Moore and reigning Cy Young winner, Dallas Keuchel, for the Astros…until the fifth inning, that is. With just one hit coming into the bottom of the inning, Logan Morrison doubled to lead off and the flood gates opened on Keuchel as the Rays would explode for five runs off the lefty (none via the HR, btw). Desmond Jennings started the scoring, driving in Morrison with a fielder’s choice ground ball. Then, after a couple walks, Logan Forsythe, Evan Longoria, and Mikie Mahtook would add on giving Moore a very comfortable lead heading into the sixth inning. Moore would pitch seven scoreless, two-hit innings going a season-high 115 pitches in the win. Enny Romero pitched an out into the eighth and Tyler Sturdevant got the final five outs to clinch the third straight series win for the Rays.
W: Moore (3-4) L: Keuchel (3-9)
The Rays welcome in the Seattle Mariners of the AL West on Tuesday after the day off Monday. Seattle sits in second place in the West, four games behind the Texas Rangers.
6/14 – Odorizzi (3-3, 3.47) v Walker (3-6, 3.48)
6/15 – Smyly (2-7, 4.94) v Karns (5-2, 4.09)
6/16 – Andriese (5-0, 2.82) v TBD
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