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  W: J. Beeks (2-0)   L: T. Clarke (0-1)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, May 7, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 8,059

D-backs' Clarke to make 1st big-league start at Rays

According to STATS
According to STATS

Arizona Diamondbacks at Tampa Bay Rays

  1. The Rays are off to their second-best 33-game start all-time, trailing only 2010 (23-10, .697). The Diamondbacks have started a season with at least 20 wins in their first 34 games for the second consecutive season and for only the fifth time in their 22 seasons as a franchise.
  2. The Rays have split two consecutive series after going 1-1 in Baltimore and 2-2 in Kansas City. Tampa Bay returns home where it started 7-2 but has gone 2-5 since April 18.
  3. Yandy Diaz has gone 0-for-15 over his last four games but drew two walks in Tampa Bay's May 3 win over Baltimore. The Rays are 18-6 (.750) this season when Diaz reaches base at least once, trailing only Nelson Cruz (Min, 17-5, .773) for the best team record when a player reaches base (min. 20 games).
  4. The Diamondbacks have won two straight series after taking two of three from the Rockies in Colorado. Arizona scored 26 runs across the three games at Coors Field, slugging nine home runs, tied for the most by any National League team in a three-game series this season (Brewers vs. Cubs from April 5-7).
  5. Eduardo Escobar picked up at least one hit in each of the three games against the Rockies and hit two home runs. Escobar is slashing .407/.443/.870 in 13 games since April 20 with six home runs and 13 RBI after previously posting marks of .222/.317/.319 with one home run and 8 RBI over his first 20 games.
  6. Tampa's Blake Snell allowed seven earned runs his last time out, his second start this season allowing at least five earned -- he had two such starts all of last season. Arizona's Merrill Kelly has won back-to-back starts, allowing three earned over his last 12.1 innings.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/6/2019 thru 5/8/2019

Arizona rookie right-hander Taylor Clarke will make his first major league start Tuesday night when the Diamondbacks play against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Clarke, 25, is taking the place of Zack Godley, who was demoted to the bullpen after posting a 1-2 record with a 7.58 ERA in six starts.

Clarke made one appearance earlier this season, earning a save by throwing three shutout innings to close out a 6-0 win at the Chicago Cubs on April 20. He became the first pitcher since saves became an official statistic in 1969 to record a save and get a hit in his debut.

"We love Taylor Clarke," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said, according to "We've seen him come up here and execute a game plan. ...

"That was exactly what he did at Wrigley. There's something to be said for that because young players can't transition that easily. So we feel like he's going to be ready for this. We feel like he's been battle-tested in that environment and we feel like it's going to be a pretty seamless transition for him to have a very successful start."

Tampa Bay will counter with a bullpen game, with right-hander Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.81 ERA) serving as the opener. He has not pitched more than two innings in any of his eight starts this season.

He likely will give way to left-hander Jalen Beeks, who tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his most recent outing, last Wednesday at Kansas City after Stanek gave up three runs in the first.

Beeks allowed one hit, striking out six and walking two. He hasn't allowed a run in his past two appearances, spanning 11 1/3 innings. Beeks is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 25 2/3 innings, striking out 26 and walking 10.

Tampa Bay won the opener of the three-game series on Monday, 12-1, with Tommy Pham's grand slam in the second inning staking the Rays to a 6-0 lead.

In his past 16 games, Pham is hitting .361 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.

"He's a presence. He's a huge presence in our lineup," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

"We have a lot of good hitters, and Tommy is kind of that pro-hitter approach. He can do damage with base hits, with the high average. He can do damage hitting balls in gaps and knocking them out of the park. He really works pitchers, draws walks. He does everything."

Pham is hitting .302 on the season. Leadoff hitter Brandon Lowe is at .307. He went 1-for-4 Monday, with an RBI single in the seventh inning, to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.

If Arizona has a late lead, look for Lovullo to likely use a different eighth-inning setup man after Archie Bradley struggled in an 8-7 loss to Colorado on Sunday, when he gave up five runs (four earned) without recording an out in the eighth.

Potential mix-and-match replacements for the late innings are Yoshihisa Hirano, T.J. McFarland, Andrew Chafin and Yoan Lopez.

Before losing its past two, Arizona had won six consecutive road games.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 7, 2019

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