The free-falling Rays hope to bounce back after being a victim of a no-hitter last night, as they send out their star left-hander.
Arizona Diamondbacks at Tampa Bay Rays
Arizona won a thrilling 1-0 contest over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, highlighted by the second no-hitter in franchise history. Diamondbacks SP Edwin Jackson was far from perfect in the contest, issuing eight walks, but it will go down as the fourth no-hitter of the year in the Majors Leagues. “Besides going to the World Series and maybe my MLB debut, this is one of the most memorable moments I’ve ever had,” Jackson said. On a side note, brothers Justin and B.J. Upton faced each other for the first time on Friday night. Justin went 2-for-3 with a walk and B.J. went 0-for-2 with a walk. The Diamondbacks have still lost 15 of their last 17 road games and trail in this all-time series, 7-3. Since 2004, the D-Back’s 42 interleague wins are tied for the second-fewest over that span behind only the Pirates (31-65).
Diamondbacks SP Ian Kennedy is 3-5 with a 3.60 ERA in 15 starts this season. The right-hander is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA in nine road starts, allowing 10 home runs in 54 innings of work. Arizona has lost his last five outings on the road, being outscored by a 24-16 margin. Kennedy is 1-2 with a 6.64 ERA in four overall starts against the Rays, including an 0-1 mark and 6.55 ERA in two career starts at Tropicana Field. In his last 10 starts since May 4, he has tallied a 2-4 record and 3.20 ERA, holding opponents to a .239 average. He is 1-3 with a 3.14 ERA in six daytime starts this year.
Tampa Bay will be ready to go after being victims of a second no-hitter this year, even though the first was a perfect game thrown by Oakland’s Dallas Braden on May 9. The team can only hope that star outfielder Carl Crawford returns to the lineup, after sitting out Friday’s game with a sore left shoulder. “It’s one of those things where you have to keep trying to stretch it and get it loose,” Crawford said. Tampa Bay is still among the top offensive clubs in baseball, scoring 370 runs on the season, but has managed to put up just 11 runs over the last five games. The Rays are 6-10 in interleague play (-940) and have lost eight of their last 10.
Rays SP David Price is 10-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 14 starts this season and hopes to become the American League’s first 11-game winner. The talented left-hander returns home after making two consecutive starts on the road. He picked up a 4-1 defeat last time out against the Florida Marlins, allowing four runs (three earned) and six hits over six innings of action. Price has been spectacular at home, posting a 4-1 record and 1.94 ERA in six starts. “It’s always good to be home,” Price said. “I feel comfortable here at the Trop.” Opposing batters are hitting .181 and managed just two home runs against him at Tropicana Field in 41.2 frames.
Bettors should be wary about blindly playing the favorite in this matchup, as the Rays are 0-3 this year after being shutout (-400). The interesting part of that is the over is a perfect 3-0 following those games. Arizona has a chance of building off the momentum of the franchise’s second no-hitter, but it’s highly unlikely with the club’s terrible 9-19 mark after a win (-1,040).