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hongwei28 Offline
#1 Đã gửi : 09/11/2018 lúc 08:33:33(UTC)
hongwei28

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ST. PETERSBURG Authentic Da'Ron Payne Jersey , Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays were a wobbly 34-40 on June 20, but have pitched their way back to .500 mostly without true starting pitchers.

On Saturday, five relievers combined to outduel Justin Verlander in a 5-2 victory, and as the series wraps up Sunday, the Rays are on even footing with the pitching-dominant Houston Astros on the mound.

“It’s pretty remarkable what they’ve strung together here as of late, and today was no different,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after Saturday’s win.

The Rays turn to their best starter of the first half in Blake Snell, who looks to be a first-time All-Star with a 10-4 record and a 2.31 ERA.

Snell has taken only one loss in his last eight starts, and was superb against the Astros on June 19, throwing seven innings and holding a potent lineup to one run and three hits in a 2-1 victory. He managed to survive seven walks, including three in one scoreless inning, getting key double plays to work his way out of predicaments.

In his last seven starts, Snell has a 1.27 ERA. He is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA in four career starts against Houston.

The Rays, who have been above .500 for only three days all season, face a stiff challenge Sunday in Astros right-hander Charlie Morton.

Morton (10-1, 2.54) hopes to continue a career resurrection since coming to Houston. Before arriving, he was 46-71 in his career. Since joining the Astros, he’s 24-8 in two seasons with a career-low ERA this year and a career-best strikeout rate of 11.5 per nine innings.

Morton is 3-0 in his last four games, with three earned runs allowed in his last 19 innings and none in his last two starts. He faced the Rays on June 20 and dominated Authentic Derrius Guice Jersey , throwing six innings and holding Tampa Bay to two hits and one unearned run. He was even better in his last start, holding Toronto scoreless in seven innings while striking out 13, one off his season and career high.

Houston manager A.J. Hinch doesn’t like playing at Tropicanaa Field, and his team’s bats have been stifled in all three games, including Thursday’s 1-0 victory. The Astros have lost eight games this season with Verlander starting, and in six of those losses, they’ve scored a total of five runs.

“I hate the results at this ballpark, if you look back at what we’ve done,” Hinch said. “Those are facts. It is what it is. We have another game (Sunday). We need to figure it out before then.”

Astros standout Alex Bregman said the stadium has given Houston problems, but some of the credit should go to Rays pitchers, who have given them fits this weekend.

“I don’t know if it’s the ballpark. I think they just have a good staff,” Bregman said. “They have been playing really good ball as of late.”

The Tampa Bay Rays finished the second-best homestand in their history, with a much easier path between now and the All-Star Game as they try to claw their way back into wild-card contention.

Tampa Bay (41-40) went 8-1 at Tropicana Field, finishing a grueling stretch of 16 games against the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals and going 10-6 in those games to rise back above .500.

Now the Rays have a stretch of 16 straight games against teams with losing records, including a three-game series at the Miami Marlins (34-51) starting Monday.

The Rays have dominated with their patchwork pitching staff, allowing a total of seven runs in their last six games, with five wins and a 1-0 loss. They took three of four from Houston to close out the homestand and hope to continue the success to take some positive momentum into the All-Star break.

“The fact that we have been winning and everyone has been coming together at clutch moments has been great,” said outfielder Mallex Smith Authentic Justin Bethel Jersey , who had a late solo home run in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Houston. “We’ve been jelling as a team. We’ve been feeding off one another. It seems like someone new coming through at the right time every day.”

Next for Tampa Bay is Nathan Eovaldi (2-3, 4.08 ERA), who played for the Marlins from 2012 to 2014 and will almost certainly fare better than his only career appearance against his former team. In June 2015, he played there with the Yankees and gave up nine hits and eight earned runs in less than an inning, leaving after two outs with a 108.00 ERA to show for it.

Eovaldi has shown promise since returning from Tommy John surgery — his last start against Washington lasted six innings and he gave up no runs, one and and two walks with nine strikeouts.

The Marlins will answer with Wei-Yin Chen, who knows the Rays from his days with the Baltimore Orioles. He has started 21 career games against Tampa Bay, more than any other opponent, and posted a 5-6 record with a 3.72 ERA.

That’s considerably better than his overall numbers this year — he’s 2-5 with a 6.14 ERA, though his last start was solid. He limited Arizona to one run and five hits in six innings last week. Against Tampa Bay last year, he pitched well, holding the Rays to two runs and two hits in six innings.

The in-state rivals will meet again right after the All-Star break for three more games, but the extended run against lesser opponents is something the Rays must dominate if they want to get back into wild-card contention.

Even after winning eight of nine games, Tampa Bay is still 11 games behind Seattle for the second AL wild card. Still, being 42-41 after opening the season 1-8 isn’t bad, especially considering the injuries they’ve dealt with and the talent traded away since the end of last season.

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