ST. PETERSBURG Authentic Donte Jackson Jersey , Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays might be the surprise hottest team in baseball, and if anything can slow them down, it might be Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer, who takes the mound against them Tuesday.
The Rays have been dominant of late, with seven wins holding opponents to one or zero runs in the last 13 games, and four wins in a row after a 11-0 drubbing of the Nationals on Monday. Tampa Bay didn’t hold an opponent under two runs once in its first 19 games and just once in its first 38, but their patchwork pitching has been a major impetus to their recent surge.
Then there’s Scherzer, who is 10-3 with a 2.09 ERA, this despite a near-mortal stretch where he has no wins in his last three outings, having allowed all of six earned runs in 20 innings during that stretch. The Rays remember him well from June 5, when he struck out 13 batters — matching his second-highest total of 2018 — while allowing two earned runs in eight innings. He’s had 16 starts this season, and he’s only allowed more than two runs once, and only four in that blemish.
For his career against the Rays, he’s 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA, and even that is notable in that he went 0-2 as a rookie in 2010 and hasn’t lost since. For the season Authentic Rashaan Gaulden Jersey , just slightly less than half his outs have come by strikeout, with 161 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings.
The Rays will counter with Nathan Eovaldi (1-3, 4.91 ERA), who has made five starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, with one dominant debut and then four starts since where he’s averaged four earned runs in less than six innings. More of a concern is the home runs he’s allowed — eight in 29 1/3 innings, including four in his last start, a 5-1 loss to Houston.
He’s faced the Nationals once this year, giving up four runs on four hits in five innings in the game against Scherzer on June 5. Eovaldi got his start in the National League, so he’s had 10 starts against Washington, going 2-5 with a 5.30 ERA.
An 11-run outburst like Monday’s win shows the Rays might be finding their bats as well, with Kevin Kiermaier, struggling at the plate since returning from the disabled list, getting a key grand slam as part of a six-run second inning.
“Baseball is hard. It’s really hard,” Kiermaier said of his slow start. “Adjusting back to big-league pitching is not an easy thing. Trying to get acclimated up there at the plate again. I felt really good and it was a good momentum swing for our team to put us up early.”
The Nationals will at least be better rested on Tuesday — after a long rain delay that pushed back their Sunday night game against Philadelphia, they didn’t get to their hotel in St. Petersburg until 4:40 a.m. on game day.
“We’re a little tired Authentic Billy Price Jersey , but we had all day to rest,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said.
TORONTO — The Detroit Tigers will start a former Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Saturday afternoon for the second game in a row in another attempt to end a losing streak that has reached 10 games.
Former Blue Jays left-hander Francisco Liriano could not do the job Friday night — allowing three runs in six innings — as the Blue Jays defeated the Tigers 3-2 in the opener of a four-game series at the Rogers Centre.
This time, the former Blue Jay is Matt Boyd (4-6, 4.15 ERA), who will face Toronto right-hander Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.98) in the second game of the series.
The Tigers (36-47), who are 13-26 on the road, have lost 10 games in a row for the first time since Sept. 13-22, 2003, the season in which they lost 119 games.
“We had some opportunities, but it’s the same story,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You pitch really good and you don’t score, or you don’t pitch good enough and it just extends on. The guys are really trying, they’re bothered out there and they’re frustrated. They want to win, the guys are really pushing hard in the dugout Authentic Sam Hubbard Jersey , but it’s just not happening right now.”
The Tigers have lost 11 of their past 13 games in Toronto.
The Blue Jays (38-43), who were returning from a 3-4 road trip that easily could have been better, have won nine of their past 10 home games. They are 21-20 at home.
Boyd took the loss Sunday at Cleveland when he allowed six runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out five in three innings.
The start Saturday will be his 16th of the season.
In four career starts against the Blue Jays, Boyd is 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA. He did not factor in the decision June 2 against Toronto at Comerica Park when he gave up four runs, six hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out three.
Boyd, who was sent to the Tigers July 30, 2015, as part of the trade that sent David Price to the Blue Jays, is 0-3 with an 8.66 ERA in four career starts at the Rogers Centre.
Gaviglio will be making his 10th appearance and eighth start of the season.
In his past three starts, he is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA and has pitched only 12 innings.
He has faced the Tigers once in his career, allowing two runs in five innings in a no decision.
The Tigers have been outscored 64-26 during their losing streak.
Before the game Friday, the Blue Jays selected the contract of utility player Darnell Sweeney from Triple-A Buffalo. He was batting .232 with six homers and 21 RBIs in 47 games. He has played all infield positions except first base, both corner outfield positions and also pitched a scoreless inning.
Sweeney takes the roster spot of outfielder Steve Pearce, who was traded Thursday night to the Boston Red Sox for shortstop Santiago Espinal Authentic Malik Jefferson Jersey , who will play at Class A Dunedin.
Moving Pearce means that Kendrys Morales will again see regular use as the designated hitter and breaks up a logjam in the outfield. The Blue Jays return to four outfielders with Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk, Kevin Pillar and Curtis Granderson.
Espinal, 23, batted .313 with seven homers and 32 RBIs in 65 games with Class A Salem in the Red Sox organization.
“Middle-of-the-diamond players, you can’t have enough of them,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Friday. “The athleticism, that’s where it all begins. If you can play in the middle, you can often play anywhere else, so that’s first and foremost. (Espinal) is an above-average runner and performing well at a decent level, so there’s plenty to like.”