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SUNDAY GAME NOTES

Drew Smyly makes his much anticipated return.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A series that began with such high hopes and optimism has quickly filled with disarray. Friday's game should have been a victory, but the bullpen was again unable to keep the lead intact. Last night, Chris Archer had a poor performance and he combined with a couple of relief pitchers to allow 12 runs. The Rays bullpen these past two games have allowed seven runs over six innings.

The loss has put the Rays back at the .500 mark and two games back of the second wild card spot, but they are separated by three teams. The Rangers have won three straight and are now just a game and a half back of the second wild card.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Drew Smyly vs Yovani Gallardo

PITCHER W L ERA FIP AVG HR K% BB% GS IP
Drew Smyly (rehab) 0 2 9.64 5.02 .344 3 23.9% 8.5% 4 14
Yovani Gallardo 8 9 3.33 4.05 .241 11 15.0% 9.0% 24 138

When Drew Smyly takes the mound this afternoon, he'll be making his highly anticipated return to the Rays rotation. After being acquired in the David Price deal last season, Smyly went on to have one of best two months of any pitcher in the majors, inspiring high hopes for the 2015 season. However, a delay to the start of his spring training caused him to overwork his arm too quickly and would eventually result in a slight tear to his labrum.

Smyly did make a couple of starts for the Rays back in May with encouraging results, however would be placed on the DL when the tear was revealed. The original reports were calling for the end of the season, however the reports proved to be premature as Smyly made a statement that his season being over wasn't even discussed.

He began his rehab assignment a few weeks ago and the results haven't been pretty. Although, he has already stretched his pitch count out throwing 94 pitches during his last appearance with Durham. Kirby Yates was optioned down to Durham to make space on the active roster and Jose Dominguez was designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

Yovani Gallardo Scouting Report:

Gallardo is having a solid season for the Rangers in a year where they need a reliable pitcher around the top of their rotation. However, he has hit a bit of a snag as of late allowing at least five runs in three of his last five starts and has only pitched into the sixth inning twice. His last time out was on the 11th against the Twins where he shutdown Minnesota over five plus innings and only allowed two hits, while he struck out one and walked three.

His arsenal:

PITCH VELOCITY FREQUENCY vs LHB vs RHB
Fastball Low 90's

26% vs LHB

***

36% vs RHB

Tends to stay middle-away, usually up in the zone Keeps it down and away, sometimes outside the zone
Sinker Low 90's

21% vs LHB

***

24% vs RHB

Outside of the zone, changes the hitter's eye level Anywhere below the zone
Cutter Low 90's

02% vs LHB

***

01% vs RHB

Sporadic Sporadic
Slider High 80's

28% vs LHB

***

29% vs RHB

Keeps it on the inside corner, around the hitter's waist line. Low and away, out of the zone
Change Mid 80's

09% vs LHB

***

01% vs RHB

Low and away, usually out of the zone Sproadic
Curve Low 80's

14% vs LHB

***

09% vs RHB

Below the zone, tends to stay away Low and away

Gallardo has been more of a ground ball pitcher this year, having balls hit on the ground 49.9% of the time. Meanwhile, flies are hit 29.9% and line drives are hit the remaining 20.2% of the time.

His splits:

TBF K% BB% AVG OBP SLG HR
vs LHB 297 14.1% 9.4% .235 .310 .393 8
vs RHB 289 15.9% 8.7% .246 .311 .317 3

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS TEXAS RANGERS
John Jaso - DH Delino DeShields Jr. - CF
Grady Sizemore - RF Shin-Soo Choo - RF
Evan Longoria - 3B Prince Fielder - DH
James Loney - 1B Adrian Beltre - 3B
Logan Forsythe - 2B Mike Napoli - 1B
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS Elvis Andrus - SS
Desmond Jennings - LF Rougned Odor - 2B
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Bobby Wilson - C
Curt Casali - C Ryan Strausborger - LF
Drew Smyly - LHP Yovani Gallardo - RHP