The Tampa Bay Rays are looking to even the series tonight against divisional foe Baltimore Orioles.
After losing the first game of the series 5-1, the Rays are hoping to score some more runs tonight as they rally behind their ace, and Cy Young favorite, Shane McClanahan.
Orioles Bats Come Alive
After allowing only one run through four innings, Corey Kluber faced some adversity when Ryan Mountcastle drove in two runs off an RBI single to right center.
The runs didn’t stop for the Orioles after Anthony Santander grounded into a fielder’s choice and scored Adley Rutschman. In the next at-bat, Austin Hays brought Mountcastle home on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Although the Rays managed to record eight hits in last night’s loss, they struggled to in bring in enough runs to win.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 26, 2022
Six different players recorded a hit, with Francisco Mejia and Luke Raley both posting two-hit games. Despite their efforts, too many runners were left stranded as the team now sits at eight games over .500.
Although the Rays were unable to bring many runs in Monday night, some of the pressure will be taken off their offense as their ace Shane McClanahan (10-3, 1.71 ERA) is expected to be on the mound Tuesday.
This will be his first start since he last pitched prior to the All-Star break. In his last start against the Orioles, he allowed four hits through 4.1 IP and struck out seven batters in a 2-1 victory for the Rays.
Spenser Watkins (3-1, 3.93 ERA) is expected to start for the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday. Watkins struggled in his previous outing against the Rays, allowing three runs on three hits before recording a single out.
Rays Look to Score More Runs
Although hits weren’t an issue in Monday night’s loss, the Rays continuously left runners on base. If they hope to win Tuesday’s key divisional matchup, they must find ways to advance base runners and bring them home.
Offensively, the team has taken a large step back. After finishing the 2021 season with the second most runs scored in all of baseball, the Rays currently rank 22nd in total runs scored.
While injuries and underwhelming performances have plagued them offensively, they currently sit in third place in one of the toughest divisions in baseball. The Rays will look to improve their offensive play as they play tonight in the second of a four-game divisional series.
Tune in for coverage of Tuesday night’s game at 6:30 PM on WRUF 98.1 FM/850 AM.