Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians
When and Where: Thursday, May 23, Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio, 6:10 p.m. EDT.
Facing a potential arms shortage, the Tampa Bay Rays are expected to dip into their farm system and recall Ryan Yarbrough for the opener of their four-game series against the Cleveland Indians.
Rays likely to use opener, but which one?
With Ryne Stanek throwing 1 2/3 innings Wednesday against the Dodgers and Yonny Chirinos following with 3 2-3 innings, the Rays are turning to Yarbrough (2-1, 8.10 ERA), who last pitched for them April 24.
Yarbrough — a 16-game winner in a jack-of-all trades role as a rookie last year — has been stretched out since going to Triple-A Durham last month, going 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in four starts for the Bulls while throwing at least five innings in each outing. The left-hander struck out 10 in six innings Friday against Rochester, giving up two runs in a 9-5 victory.
Ryan Yarbrough has pitched very well tonight for @DurhamBulls. Using his fastball and changeup well off each other and getting a lot of chase swings on his breaking ball. Promising development for the Rays, how he's pitched tonight
— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) May 18, 2019
The left-hander beat the Indians in his only matchup against them in September, holding them to one run and two hits in five innings of Tampa Bay’s 6-4 victory in Cleveland.
Plutko looks to build on stellar season debut
Adam Plutko (1-0, 1.50) looks to get the Indians (25-23) back on track after they were swept in a three-game series at home by the Oakland Athletics.
The right-hander’s sole mistake in six innings against Baltimore on Saturday was a fourth-inning homer by Trey Mancini as Cleveland recorded a 4-1 victory. Plutko struck out four in a tidy 83-pitch effort, recording 59 strikes.
“I thought he pitched his (butt) off,” Francona told the Beacon Journal. “He used all his pitches. He slowed them up enough with his change-up, commanded his fastball. There were some balls that were hit fairly deep that fortunately stayed in the ballpark, but I thought he really pitched well.
“We thought 80 [pitches] was about the right [limit] and that’s kinda right where he got. But to do it in six innings was very impressive.”
Adam Plutko, 3 relievers allow 1 hit for Indians in 4-1 win https://t.co/efEwyBGhZs
— Morning Journal Sports (@MJournalSports) May 19, 2019
Plutko has never faced the Rays but has been a decent starter at home in stretches of three seasons with Cleveland, going 4-2 with a 4.25 ERA in eight starts at Progressive Field. The Indians offense has helped to that cause, backing him with an average of 7.03 runs in those games.
Cleveland did not do a good job of stringing together hits against Oakland, with six of the nine runs it scored in the three defeats coming via home runs. Carlos Santana, who had a double in Wednesday’s 7-2 loss, is 9 for 21 with three homers in the first seven games of this homestand and also has drawn 10 walks in that span.
The Rays are:
- 24-10 in their last 34 road games.
- 11-4 in their last 15 during game 1 of a series.
- 15-5 in their last 20 games vs. AL Central opponents.
The Indians are:
- 1-4 in their last five during game 1 of a series.
- 1-4 in their last five home games vs. the Rays.
- 2-7 in their last nine games after allowing five or more runs in the previous game.