Looking to put the forgetful road trip behind them, the Rays returned home to Tropicana Field to welcome the visiting Texas Rangers for a three game series.
Yonny Chirinos took the mound for the Rays looking to help put an end to the Rays’ struggles in the month of June. Lance Lynn was the starter for the Rangers. The Rangers find themselves holding the second Wild Card spot in the American League, and if the season ended today, this would be the Wild Card matchup.
Chirinos worked an eight-pitch top of the first inning, Lynn worked a ten-pitch bottom of the first inning.
Chirinos walked Nomar Mazara to begin the second, and from the moment the inning started, it was obvious that Chirinos had absolutely no command on any of his pitches. Although Chirinos struck out Gallo, Chirinos walked Asdrubal Cabrera to put two on before allowing back-to-back doubles by Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman, scoring three runs for the Rangers. Chirinos escaped the inning not allowing any additional runs.
In the third inning, the mistakes continued. Nomar Mazara drew a walk and scored when Joey Gallo hit an infield single and Yonny Chirinos overthrew the ball to second base and into the outfield when the play was seemingly dead. Mazara easily rounded third and scored and this decision by Chirinos was absolutely a head-scratcher, but regardless, it extended Texas’ lead to 4-0.
Rays bats were silenced all night long by Lance Lynn, with Lynn striking out six through his first five innings. In the sixth, the Rays finally threatened with two runners on, but neither Tommy Pham nor Ji-Man Choi could bring home a run, sending this game into the seventh with the Rays still down by four.
Yonny Chirinos’ day was done after six innings of work. Allowing four runs, three of those earned, Chirinos walked four and struck out five while allowing five hits. Chirinos threw 105 pitches with 59 of those being strikes while earning a “quality start” in the process.
Recently recalled reliever Casey Sadler was summoned upon to pitch for Chirinos, and Sadler did well in his return with the Rays. Pitching three innings, Sadler allowed three hits while striking out one and walking one, allowing a run while throwing 28 strikes in 43 pitches. The Rays bats could not get even one run on the board, with this game ending 5-0 in Texas’ favor.
On a night where the bats showed no signs of life and Yonny Chirinos struggled with command, the Rays dropped the series opener to a team that they could be finding themselves playing later down the line in the Postseason. The second and middle game of the series takes place tomorrow evening inside of Tropicana Field at 4 pm with Brendan McKay taking the mound for the Rays.