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Game Notes: Smyly vs Porcello

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Best friends face off.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the Rays bats scored more runs, then they had the entire past series against Baltimore. After Kevin Cash decided to shakeup the lineup, several players who had been slumping finally snapped out of it. The game included Joey Butler's first career homerun, which was a laser shot that landed in the monster seats in left. In the end, the Rays won 5-1, thanks to a solid performance from Jake Odorizzi.

Tonight, they'll send Drew Smyly to the mound to face off against Rick Porcello. The last time Porcello faced the Rays, was on August 20th last year, and he threw a complete game shutout. Since joining the Red Sox this past offseason in the Yoenis Cespedes deal, Porcello has been decent with the exception of one bad outing against the Orioles in which he allowed 8 runs in only five innings.

Smyly meanwhile has been everything the Rays could hope for as a replacement for David Price in the rotation. After dominating opposing batters last August and September, Smyly began this season on the DL. He made his return on April 24th, and he has been solid in his two outings so far, racking up 15 strikeouts in 10+ innings pitches, while allowing 4 runs to score.

This game will feature a battle similar to a battle between David Price and Chris Archer, as Smyly and Porcello were close during their time with Detroit. In fact, Porcello served as Smyly' mentor when he was first coming up.

Here's how both teams will lineup:

Rays:

Kiermaier gets to lead off, meanwhile Loney will stay in the 3rd spot with Cabrera 7th. Butler gets his 3rd straight start and Bobby Wilson gets the start at catcher as Rene Rivera has been struggling.

Red Sox:

Ramirez hasn't been placed on the DL... yet. Right now his considered day to day after deciding to see if he could somehow run through a 100 year old wall.

PORC

Porcello has a five pitch arsenal that includes a fastball, sinker, curve, cutter, and a change-up. His fastball and sinker clock in the low 90's, while his cutter comes in the mid-80's. His curve is in the high-70's, and his change-up is in the low-80's. So far this year, he has favored his sinker (33%) and fastball (27%), while mixing in his cutter (16%), curve (15%), and change-up (9%)

Porcello will throw his fastball all over the zone to lefties, switching to each side of the plate. With righties, he will either try to jam opposing hitters, or sweep it across the plate and try to paint the outer edge. With his sinker, Porcello keeps it on one side of the plate, barring down and in to righties and tailing down and away to lefties. Porcello also keeps his cutter on one side of the plate, making it sweep away from righties and comes in on lefties hands. With his curve, he drops it low and in to lefties, and sweeping it low and away from righties. With his change-up, he keeps it away from lefties, or drops it out of the zone, and to righties, he keeps it on the inside corner.

Porcello

Other Rays News:

- The Marlins were unable to find a suitor willing to trade for Saltalamacchia, and have released him making him free to sign with whomever. The Rays have been rumored to be interested.

- Update? Speculation? Gossip? Alex Cobb was shut down yesterday, and someone has an opinion:

- Here's how the Rays have done on Cinco De Mayo

Go Rays!