Rays at Tigers
There is strong potential for a third straight pitcher’s duel in the series when the Tampa Bay Rays visit the Detroit Tigers for the rubber match of a three-game set Wednesday afternoon. Red-hot Blake Snell seeks his fifth straight win for the Rays, who have won nine of their last 11, while 2016 American League Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer goes for the Tigers after they edged Tampa Bay 2-1 on Tuesday.
Detroit came up short in the series opener 3-2 after the teams went to the ninth inning scoreless, before Leonys Martin doubled home what proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning Tuesday as the Tigers won for the second time in seven contests. All-Star Miguel Cabrera has missed the last two games with a biceps strain, but could return in the finale as Detroit goes for its first series victory since sweeping Baltimore April 17-19. The Rays offense has cooled off the last two days with 12 hits combined and they left seven on base in Tuesday’s loss as they failed for the second straight time to reach .500. Catcher Wilson Ramos (16-for-38, 10 games) and first baseman-designated hitter C.J. Cron (12-for-40, nine games) take hitting streaks into Wednesday’s contest for Tampa Bay.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Tampa Bay), FS Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH Blake Snell (4-1, 2.52 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Michael Fulmer (1-2, 2.76)
Snell is on the best run of his career with four consecutive victories, giving up five runs on 16 hits with 34 strikeouts and just six walks over his last 26 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old Washington native limited Boston to two runs on five hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over a career-high 7 1/3 frames Friday in a 4-3 victory. Jose Iglesias is 1-for-2 with an RBI against Snell, who lost his only career start versus Detroit in 2016 while allowing three runs across 5 1/3 innings.
Fulmer has put together two straight strong outings after his worst start of the season, permitting two runs on 12 hits over 13 innings combined without earning a victory. The 25-year-old Oklahoma native gave up nine runs in his lone poor start April 12 against Cleveland and surrendered three combined in his other four trips to the mound this season. Daniel Robertson is 2-for-3 with two RBIs versus Fulmer, who is 2-2 with a 2.36 ERA in four career games against the Rays.
1. Tampa Bay OF Carlos Gomez registered a single in three at-bats Tuesday and needs two extra-base hits to reach 400 in his career.
2. Detroit 3B Jeimer Candelario is 5-for-10 with two walks over the last three contests to raise his batting average to .291.
3. The Rays placed RHP Yonny Chirinos (forearm strain) on the 10-day disabled list and recalled LHP Ryan Yarbrough