Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Tampa Bay at Minnesota
When: 2:10 PM ET, Sunday, July 15, 2018
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Tampa Bay Rays hope to build off a historic offensive outburst when they visit the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon to complete a four-game set before heading into the All-Star break. The Rays matched a franchise record with 19 runs and pounded out a season-high 20 hits, including three homers, in a come-from-behind victory Saturday that clinched the season series for the ninth time in the last 12 years (9-1-2).

Rookie Jake Bauers homered for the second straight day and is 7-for-14 in the series for Tampa Bay, which will be without All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos after he left Saturday’s 19-6 rout with a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out of the Midsummer Classic. Hard-throwing right-hander Ryne Stanek will open the game Sunday for the Rays and the Twins counter with rookie Fernando Romero, who will be recalled to make his first major league start since June 22. Minnesota let a 6-4 lead get away Saturday and lost for just the second time in 10 games after giving up five runs in each of the last three innings. Brian Dozier (eight contests), Jake Cave (eight) and Joe Mauer (seven) saw their hitting streaks come to an end Saturday, but Robbie Grossman is 6-for-11 with three RBIs during a four-game hitting streak for the Twins.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Tampa Bay), FS North (Minnesota)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Ryne Stanek (1-2, 1.93 ERA) vs. Twins RH Fernando Romero (3-3, 4.38)

Stanek has prospered in the role as a one or two-inning starter, allowing two runs on seven hits over 16 2/3 innings with 21 strikeouts while opening on the mound 11 times. The 26-year-old Kansas native, who was a first-round pick in 2013, has given up two runs over 7 1/3 innings overall this month after tossing 15 2/3 scoreless frames in June. Dozier and Mauer are 1-for-1 against Stanek, who struck out two in a scoreless inning Thursday in the series opener.

Romero got sent to the minors in June when he posted just one victory in his last eight starts, but will be summoned after registering a 2.04 ERA in seven appearances with Triple-A Rochester. The 23-year-old Dominican Republic native did not give up a run over 11 2/3 innings to win his first two major league starts in early May, but went 1-3 with a 5.67 ERA in the next eight. Romero faces Tampa Bay for the first time and is 2-1 with a 3.58 ERA in five home starts.

WALK-OFFS

1. Minnesota RHP Aaron Slegers (shoulder inflammation) will be placed on the 10-day disabled list to make room for Romero.

2. Tampa Bay OF Carlos Gomez homered Saturday and is 9-for-18 in his last six games to raise his batting average to .216.

3. Mauer needs one double to break the tie with Hall-of-Famer Kirby Puckett (414) for the franchise record.

PREDICTION: Rays 6, Twins 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Tampa Bay 49-46 W1 26-17 23-29 18-19 13-5 13-12 5-10
Minnesota 43-50 L1 28-22 15-28 11-12 19-14 7-12 6-12
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Minnesota
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/14/18 TB 19 MIN 6 .455 3 1.318 .289 1 .781
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay A. Hechavarria .455 10 1.202
Minnesota E. Rosario .423 11 1.154
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay C. Cron 4 5 9
Minnesota E. Rosario 2 4 9
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 5.94 .341 51
Minnesota 8.89 .280 61
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay M. Duffy .316 98 .783
Minnesota E. Rosario .307 114 .884
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay C. Cron 19 45 49
Minnesota E. Rosario 19 62 58
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 3.66 .255 801
Minnesota 4.49 .244 837