Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, July 30th
(All times Eastern)
Arizona Diamondbacks (54-51) at Tampa Bay Rays (63-43), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Ian Kennedy (3-7, 5.22)
Tampa Bay - Roberto Hernandez (5-11, 4.92)
(Sports Network) - A fantastic July has catapulted the Tampa Bay Rays to the
top of the American League East. They hope to remain there when they start a
brief two-game set Tuesday versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Rays leapfrogged the Boston Red Sox for the division lead with Monday's
2-1 win at Fenway Park in a makeup game from last Thursday. Wil Myers and Sean
Rodriguez each drove in a run, while Evan Longoria and Yunel Escobar had two
hits and a run scored apiece.
David Price continued to shine of late and has won three straight and five of
six starts. Price limited the Red Sox to a run and two hits over 7 1/3 innings
with no walks for a second straight outing.
"I've proved to them I can go out there and pound the strike zone," Price
said. "Once I've done that no one wants to hit 1-2, 0-2."
There was a controversial play in the eighth inning, when Daniel Nava was
allegedly tagged out at the plate by catcher Jose Molina on a sacrifice fly.
Replays showed Nava's foot slid under Molina's tag, but home plate umpire
Jerry Meals made the call.
"What I saw was: Molina blocked the plate and Nava's foot lifted," Meals said
afterward. "But in the replays, you could clearly see Nava's foot got under
for a split second and then lifted, so I was wrong on my decision. From the
angle I had, I did not see his foot get under Molina's shin guard."
Tampa Bay, which is 22-4 in its last 26 games, is a half-game ahead of Boston
in the AL East and has won eight of its last 10 games.
With the MLB trade deadline on the horizon, the Rays acquired injured reliever
Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for a player to be named or
cash considerations. Crain, a right-hander, hasn't pitched since June 29 and
is on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder strain.
The Rays are confident Crain will be able to contribute down the road.
"We feel like when healthy, Jesse is among the best relief pitchers in the
game," Rays GM Andrew Friedman said on the club's website. "As far as
prognosis, we don't really know, in that we haven't had a chance to put our
hands on him.
"It's too early to speculate on exactly when, but again, with our training
staff and everything we've learned about Jesse, we're confident he will come
back and impact this team."
Roberto Hernandez gets the call Tuesday for Tampa Bay and is only 1-5 in his
last six decisions. Hernandez has allowed at least three runs in each of his
past nine outings and lost at Boston last Tuesday in a 6-2 decision, charged
with three runs and seven hits in five innings.
Hernandez, who is 5-11 in 19 starts with a 4.92 ERA, has never faced Arizona.
The ongoing surge by the Los Angeles Dodgers has dropped the Diamondbacks 2
1/2 games off the NL West lead, a title the club once owned. The D'backs will
begin a six-game road trip Tuesday at Tropicana Field.
Arizona lost the last two installments of a three-game set versus the San
Diego Padres over the weekend and recently dropped a 1-0 verdict on Sunday.
Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin stroked an RBI single in the first inning and
that was all the offense San Diego would need.
D'backs All-Star Patrick Corbin was dealt the hard-luck loss and lasted eight
innings, striking out eight and walking none.
"We haven't played our best baseball, we know that," Corbin said. "I don't
know why, but we're trying to figure it out. Hopefully, we can go over there
and get some wins."
Cliff Pennington had two of the D'backs' three hits in defeat, while the first
three batters in the lineup were a combined 0-for-12.
The Diamondbacks, who will also visit Texas for a game and Boston for three
more on this trip, hope Ian Kennedy can pitch the club back into the win
column Tuesday. Kennedy is 0-4 with a 5.86 ERA in his last nine starts with
the club going 1-8 in that span. He previously toed the rubber in Wednesday's
7-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs and gave up six runs -- two earned -- in five
innings for the no-decision.
Kennedy is just 3-7 in 20 starts this season with a 5.22 ERA and 1-3 in five
career starts against the Rays (6.66 ERA). The righty hasn't fared well on the
road either, going 1-4 in 12 chances.
Arizona and Tampa Bay are meeting for the first time since the Diamondbacks
won two of three matchups back in 2010.
07/30 11:00:48 ET