Series Preview: Indians at Rays.

 

 

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Getting you ready for the Bay Rays…

Injuries:

  • OF Justin Ruggiano (gastrointestinal distress) did not play May 23-24. He was in the lineup May 25.

  • INF Elliot Johnson (sprained left knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 24.

  • RHP Jeff Niemann (back tightness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 5. Niemann had not started playing catch as of May 22, so he is unlikely to return before late June. Once he starts playing catch, he will be on a throwing program for two weeks and then make one or two rehab starts.

Tidbits:

  • LHP David Price starts against the big-league-best Indians on Friday, seeking a turnaround after consecutive winless starts.

  • INF Sean Rodriguez is in line to get more playing time at shortstop than INF Reid Brignac. The Rays need to bolster their offense, and Rodriguez has been making adjustments to his stance that make him more selective against right-handed pitchers.

  • OF Sam Fuld may start playing less so the Rays can get more out of him. Manager Joe Maddon said he was encouraged by the quality of Fuld’s at-bats after Fuld got a couple of days off, so he is likely to schedule more rest in hopes of breaking Fuld out of his extended slump (12-for-100, .120, in his past 26 games).

  • 3B Evan Longoria’s extended slump, a .138 average (4-for-29) over his last eight games, is more mental than physical, both he and manager Joe Maddon say. They believe it stems from Longoria trying to do too much.

  • DH Johnny Damon’s 2,621st career hit was erased when Wednesday’s game in Detroit was washed out after 2 1/2 innings and rescheduled for June 13.

By The Numbers:

5 – Losses in seven games on the trip, their worst since 2009.

Quote of the Series:

“Four raindrops hit me in the eye while I was trying to catch a ball. It was terrible. I don’t even know why we took the field.”

 – CF B.J. Upton, on playing in the heavy rain before the third inning postponement.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1 – David Price vs Josh Tomlin

  • David Price 4-3, 3.26 ERA

Price dominated Toronto for 8 2/3 innings in his last start, fanning 10 and not allowing an earned run for his fourth win of the season. He didn’t walk a batter and allowed just four hits, none in the same inning.

  • Josh Tomlin  4-1, 2.43 ERA

Tomlin will look to bounce back afterbeing tagged for his first loss of the year. In his last start he surrendered just three hits, but his first two were home runs. . Tomlin has surrendered seven homers in six games, but only one has come with a man on base.

Game 2 James Shields vs Carlos Carrasco

  • James Shields  3-1, 2.01 ERA

Shields put forth his fifth consecutive quality start Friday against the Orioles. He has commanded his fastball and effectively thrown the ball on both sides of the plate, which has made his changeup even better.

Game 3 – Jeremy Hellickson vs Justin Masterson

  • Justin Masterson – 5-0, 2.11 ERA

Masterson pitched a great game against the Red Sox Monday night. Made only one mistake to Carl Crawford.

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