While the Rays have been unable to mount a serious challenge to the New York Yankees in the AL East, Tampa Bay is within 1 1/2 games of the two wild-card spots. This despite not having won more than two consecutive games since a four-game winning streak June 7-10. The Rays will try to pick up their second win this season against Blake Beavan (4-6, 6.06 ERA). He gave up five runs and seven hits, including two homers, in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay on May 2. The right-hander is making his second start since being recalled from the minors this month. He surrendered five runs over six innings of a 9-6 win over Kansas City on Tuesday - the fourth straight start in which he's allowed at least five runs.
The lineup will try to provide Beavan with support off Matt Moore (6-6, 4.39), who has struggled with his control his last two starts. After being hit hard for five runs in 4 2-3 innings against Cleveland on July 7, he overcame a season high-tying five walks and a hit batter in five-plus innings Tuesday to beat the Indians 4-2. Both teams are seemingly du to break-out over the last few games where little offense has been provided overshadowed by dominating pitcher's duals.
We get a nice pice here, and we have to stick with the statstical trend that despite the rubber series of this game involves Tampa Bay, the M's have hit considerably better away from Safeco. Seattle might be collectively hitting just .232 but their 83 HR does reeal that there is some power behind the inconsistency. Justin Smoak (.192 13 38) has had trouble all season hitting his weight but does lead the Mariners in round trippers. most of the solo variety. Kyle Seagler (.243 13 58) has been robbed on numerous occasions and might have even more success in the offensive categories had the breaks gone his way. It has been a challenge for guys like Michael Saunders (.260 9 33) and Jesus Montero (.257 9 36) to hit within the pitcher friendly confines of Safeco Field, but they may get their opportunity on the road against a struggling Beaven. Meanwhile, the Rays are going through similar troubles at the plate evident of their .233 mark amongst the leaders leaving RISP. Carlos Pena after playing for the Cubs last season is , like Smoak having trouble hitting his weight evident of his .193 mark despite leading Tampa with 14 HR. Matt Joyce (.275 11 36) has been battling injuries all season despite relatively consistent numbers overall. Still, Ben Zobrist (.251 11 39) and Luke Scott (.225 12 45) are going to be instrumental in the second half if the Rays are hopeful for a wildcard to hold some substance to their otrwise dominating pitching. Best of luck however you play!