|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, June 28, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 13,955
Rolling Rangers ride winning streak into Tampa Bay
Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays
- The Rangers enter this series with the majors' longest-active win streak at five games. Texas starting pitching is 5-0 with a 1.73 ERA over the win streak -- the last time that Texas starting pitching went 5-0 with a sub-2.00 ERA over a five-game span was seven years ago in June 2012.
- Tampa Bay completed a 10-game road trip against the Yankees, A's and Twins with a 3-7 record. Based on current records, Tampa Bay has played the most difficult schedule of any team in MLB in June, with its opponents combining for a .543 winning percentage.
- After recording a 10.9 BB% in 2018, Lance Lynn has lowered his walk rate to 5.9 percent in 2019. Among pitchers with 75+ IP in both seasons, Lynn's improvement in his walk rate is the largest in the majors.
- Over his career, Joey Gallo has averaged a home run every 11.79 at-bats -- among players with at least 1000 career at-bats, Gallo's AB/HR ratio ranks third all-time behind Mark McGwire (10.61) and Babe Ruth (11.76).
- Tampa Bay beat Minnesota yesterday, 5-2 in 18 innings. The Rays tied the game at 2 in the second inning, and then neither team scored until the top of the 18th. It was the most innings between runs in an AL game since September 1, 1906 (Philadelphia A's, 4-1 over Boston Americans in 24 innings).
- Tommy Pham was the only Ray with multiple hits yesterday, going 2-for-8 with two singles. The rest of Tampa Bay combined to bat 6-for-53 (.113), with one extra-base hit and 16 strikeouts.
- Padres get Pham from Rays for Renfroe
- Nats bring back Kendrick on 1-year deal
- Twins sign C Avila for 1 year, $4.25M
- Yanks confirm Cole, Strasburg interest
- Mets re-sign reliever Brach for 1 year
The visiting Texas Rangers will go for their sixth straight win when they open a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Right-hander Lance Lynn (9-4, 4.32 ERA) pitches the opener for Texas against Tampa Bay right-hander Yonny Chirinos (7-3, 3.00) as the Rays open a 10-game homestand.
Last time out, Lynn allowed five runs on six hits in seven innings while picking up a win against the Chicago White Sox. Lynn settled in after giving up four runs on four hits in the first inning. He retired 19 of the last 21 hitters he faced.
Manager Chris Woodward praised Lynn's competitiveness.
"Because you get down 4-0 like that, he's one strike away from getting out of the first inning with no runs. ... A lot of guys kind of fold up at that point, they kind of just give in," Woodward said. "He had 40-something pitches after two and somehow he ends up going seven and gets the win."
Prior to that outing, Lynn had gone at least six innings and given up three runs or fewer in eight straight starts.
Lynn is looking to reach double digits in wins for the seventh straight season. He's 0-1 with a 4.87 ERA in four career games (three starts) against the Rays.
Joey Gallo hit two solo homers, and Ariel Jurado threw seven shutout innings as the Rangers completed a three-game sweep of Detroit with a 3-1 win on Thursday to improve to a season-high nine games over .500.
"We're beating the teams we should beat, and we've beaten a lot of good teams in the process also," Woodward said. "We've got some tough series coming up, but I think that's a good thing.
"We set out from the beginning to be in the hunt and to get to the playoffs. Right now, we've got as good a chance as anybody."
Tampa Bay's Chirinos has pitched in 16 games this season. His last six appearances have all been starts, and he's allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of them. On Saturday, he gave up two runs on six hits in six innings of a no-decision versus the Oakland Athletics.
In his only previous start against Texas, Chirinos gave up six runs in 5 2/3 innings and took the loss.
The Rays are coming home off a marathon, 18-inning, 5-2 victory over the Twins on Thursday in a game that lasted 5 hours and 42 minutes and was delayed at the start by rain.
Yandy Diaz hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly as the Rays matched the longest game, innings-wise, in their history. Willy Adames and Ji-Man Choi added RBI singles as the Rays avoided being swept by the Twins for the first time in 13 years.
The Rays finished their road trip with a 3-7 record and have lost 11 of their last 16 games.
"We got to the point where we'll take any win however we get them," manager Kevin Cash told reporters. "That was a challenge."
Finding fresh arms in the bullpen will be a challenge on Friday as Tampa Bay used eight pitchers after opener Ryne Stanek worked two innings. The bullpen pitched 16 scoreless innings after Ryan Stanek allowed two first-inning runs.
The Rays got third baseman Diaz back from the injured list after the minimum 10-day stay, and he went 0-for-7 in the cleanup spot. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier left the game in the second inning with tightness in his lower right leg and is day-to-day.
--Field Level Media
Updated June 28, 2019