The Tampa Bay Rays look to snap a two-game skid on Saturday against the visiting San Francisco Giants, who have won three straight following a 1-8 stretch. Tampa Bay, which went 21-5 in July, sits one game behind first-place Boston in the American League East after dropping a 4-1 decision to the Giants in Friday’s series opener. Evan Longoria went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Friday and is batting .186 since the start of July.
The Giants have stumbled upon a solid platoon at first base, with Brandon Belt and Brett Pill both producing over the last week. Belt came within a double of the cycle on Friday, and Pill has seven hits and four RBIs since being promoted from Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday. Manager Bruce Bochy indicated both will share time at first. “We're going to do all we can to win games and find the right matchups.”
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSNBA (San Francisco), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Tim Lincecum (5-11, 4.61 ERA) vs. Rays LH David Price (6-5, 3.57)
Lincecum bounced back from a dismal start with a strong outing against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, when he allowed two runs while striking out 10 over seven innings. The 29-year-old is 2-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 10 road starts. James Loney is 8-for-44 against Lincecum, who is making his first career start against the Rays.
Price has won five of six starts since coming off the disabled list with a 1.68 ERA over that stretch. The 27-year-old dominated Boston for the second time in five days on Monday, yielding two hits while striking out eight over 7 1/3 innings. Making his first career start against the Giants, Price has gone 7-7 with a 4.47 ERA in interleague play.
1. The Giants are 38-11 when scoring at least four runs.
2. The Rays are 10-3 in interleague play, including 6-2 at home.
3. The Giants pulled struggling LHP Barry Zito from the starting rotation and announced that RHP Guillermo Moscoso will start Sunday against the Rays.
PREDICTION: Rays 6, Giants 1