The newest members of the Rays outfield made their mark on Wednesday. They will look to continue to make an impact during a six-game road trip that begins on Thursday when Tampa Bay clashes with the host Detroit Tigers to open a four-game series.
David Peralta, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, drove in the go-ahead run in a 3-2 triumph over the Toronto Blue Jays. His sixth-inning single knocked in Jose Siri, who was acquired from the Houston Astros this week in a three-team swap.
"We're going to lean on them," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "Acquired them to (play) big roles on this team."
Peralta had spent his entire major league career, which began in 2014, with the Diamondbacks before the Rays traded catching prospect Christian Cerda to get his bat in the lineup. The single was one of two hits he delivered on Wednesday.
"That's the type of at-bat that you kind of are looking forward to seeing from David the rest of the way," Cash said. "Just a very professional at-bat."
Peralta feels energized by joining a playoff contender.
"They gave me a really good welcome," he said. "It's going to take a little bit of time, but I'm excited. We got the first win since I got here, so we're going to keep going. ...
"We've got to go in Detroit and set the tone when we're there and win as many games as we can."
Siri struck out three times on Wednesday but stole second after his lone hit of the afternoon, setting up Peralta's RBI opportunity.
"He's a very athletic guy," Cash said. "He's going to 'get it.' He likes to swing, but any way he can help us, on the bases or defensively and certainly at the plate, we'll take."
Left-hander Jeffrey Springs (3-3, 2.70 ERA) will start the series opener for the Rays. Springs had a 1.45 ERA in mid-June but has not been as dominant over his past five starts.
He gave up 10 runs and 19 hits, including five homers, in 14 1/3 innings over a three-outing stretch before going on the 15-day injured list in early July due to tightness in his lower right leg.
After being activated, Springs gave up two runs (one earned) and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings to the Kansas City Royals on July 24, then allowed three runs and six hits in five innings against the Cleveland Guardians on Friday.
Despite having made 123 career outings, Springs will be facing the Tigers for the first time.
He will be opposed by Drew Hutchison (1-4, 4.53 ERA), who is coming off one of his best starts this season. The right-hander held Toronto to one run and two hits in five innings on Saturday despite issuing three walks.
Hutchison has faced the Rays 11 times in his career, including seven starts, compiling a 4-2 record with a 5.56 ERA.
The Tigers fell 4-1 to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis. Detroit, which has lost four of its past five games, is beginning a seven-game homestand.
Detroit struck out 14 times on Wednesday and 41 times in the three-game series at Minnesota.
"It's one thing to chase (pitches), it's another when you get beat in the zone. We had a lot of swing-and-miss in this series," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
The Rays won two of three games from the Tigers during a mid-May series in St. Petersburg, Fla.
--Field Level Media