Fri, 29 Sep 2023

Rays ride 7-game win streak into rematch with Rangers

Field Level Media
10 Jun 2023, 21:40 GMT+10

The Tampa Bay Rays will look for their eighth straight win on Saturday when they host the Texas Rangers in the second contest of a three-game series between baseball's two winningest teams in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The American League East-leading Rays (47-19) cruised to an 8-3 victory over the American League West-leading Rangers (40-22) in the opener.

The Rays got two home runs and a career-high six RBIs from Isaac Paredes, while Tyler Glasnow was terrific on the mound, allowing just a run on one hit to go along with six strikeouts and three walks over six innings on Friday.

The Rangers, who have dropped two straight after winning seven of the previous eight, will need to beat the Rays twice if they are to win their seventh straight series. Tampa Bay is a major-league-best 30-6 at home this season.

The Rays will look to take the series on Saturday behind 22-year-old rookie Taj Bradley (4-2, 3.60 ERA). The right-hander allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and three walks over five innings to pick up a 6-2 win against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

Bradley has allowed more than three runs just once in seven starts this season. He has 48 strikeouts and just eight walks in 35 innings.

"I'm not the kind of person to get too caught up in anything," Bradley said. "If I were to meet a celebrity or pitch in a big game, I wouldn't be making too much of a moment of it. I always downplay things. I mean, you do get your nerves, but I don't build it up. Someone might say, 'Oh, you made your debut,' or 'Oh, you got a win against the Red Sox,' but I just go about my day."

Bradley will have a tough assignment when he faces the Rangers for the first time in his brief career. Texas has scored a major-league-high 389 runs this season (Tampa Bay is second with 380), and the Rangers have scored at least six runs in 12 of their past 25 games.

Texas has scored at least 10 runs in 16 games this season, the best total in the big leagues. The Rays are next with eight double-digit games.

The Rangers will send ace right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (8-2, 2.24) to the mound on Saturday. Eovaldi allowed one hit and no walks over six shutout innings while striking out seven in a 12-3 win over the visiting Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

"Everybody I feel like is groovin' right now," Eovaldi said after his latest start. "You can't say enough about our offense. It just makes my job a little easier to go out there and attack the guys knowing that I've got a few runs to play with."

Eovaldi, who has given up more than one earned run in just one of his past seven starts, hasn't been nearly as dominant throughout his career against the Rays. He is 5-6 with a 4.04 ERA in 15 appearances, including 13 starts, against Tampa Bay.

--Field Level Media

Sign up for Houston News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!