Rays look to create havoc on bases in encounter vs. Angels

By Thomson Reuters Apr 9, 2024 | 7:42 AM

The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the more aggressive teams on the bases this season.

The Rays will look to stretch their legs on Tuesday night when they continue their three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif.

Tampa Bay was unsuccessful in its lone stolen-base attempt during Monday’s 7-1 loss to the Angels, but the Rays still lead the American League with 14 stolen bases in 17 tries this season.

Last year, they finished second in the AL with 160 steals.

Jose Siri has six this season for Tampa Bay, tied with Boston’s Jarren Duran for the AL lead. The Rays had six players last year with at least 10 steals, but four of them currently aren’t on the active roster, either injured or with another organization.

Their speed also plays into general aggressiveness on the basepaths, but Rays manager Kevin Cash has emphasized smart base running.

“I would say instead of being aggressive, it would be, be under control,” Rays utility player Amed Rosario said through an interpreter. “There’s a lot of different situations that can happen out there. Bad things can happen, but you learn from it. Whatever we can control is the main message that (Cash) sent to us.”

Said Cash: “I like it when we’re safe. I don’t like it when we’re out.”

Angels catcher Logan O’Hoppe threw out Jose Caballero trying to steal second base in Monday’s game. O’Hoppe has thrown out two of five would-be base-stealers this season. Last year, O’Hoppe threw out runners in 5 of 36 stolen-base attempts.

On the mound, right-hander Aaron Civale (1-1, 1.50 ERA) will make his third start of the season on Tuesday. He’s coming off a loss Wednesday against Texas in his most recent start despite an impressive performance in which he allowed one run on four hits in six innings and struck out eight.

“Just where I’ve been at with my attack plan and comfortability out there just executing pitches and trying to keep the team in a good spot to win, I’m really comfortable with how I’m attacking hitters right now,” Civale said, per the Tampa Bay Times.

Civale is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two career starts against the Angels.

Left-hander Patrick Sandoval (1-1, 6.14), the Angels’ Opening Day starter, will make his third start of the season. He pitched well in his most recent start, holding the Miami Marlins to two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 10-2 win on Wednesday.

A key for Sandoval is limiting his walks, which has been an issue recently. Last season he walked an average of 4.6 batters per nine innings, a career worst. Through two starts this year, it’s 4.9, and it’s 4.0 for his career.

“Put the ball in the zone and good things happen,” Sandoval said. “Fastball was in the zone more often than not, so usually that’s a good sign.”

Sandoval is 0-2 with a 3.04 ERA in six career games (five starts) vs. Tampa Bay.

–Field Level Media