Shane McClanahan, Rays aim to leapfrog Orioles

Field Level Media
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Jul 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan (18) throws a pitch in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.
Jul 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan (18) throws a pitch in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.
Image: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays ace Shane McClanahan will look to continue his dominance of his hometown team on Saturday when he takes the mound against the visiting Baltimore Orioles in St. Petersburg, Fla

McClanahan (11-1, 2.56 ERA) improved to 6-0 with a 2.14 ERA in eight career starts against Baltimore after scattering four hits over six innings in a 3-0 win on May 8.


The 26-year-old left-hander pitched well in his return from the injured list on Monday following an ailing back.

He recorded his third straight no-decision despite allowing only two runs on three hits and striking out six in six innings against the Texas Rangers on Monday. The Rays, however, were left with a loss after Pete Fairbanks uncorked a wild pitch in the ninth inning to allow the winning run to score


"It felt good to get back out there," McClanahan said, per the Tampa Bay Times. "It felt good to feel like myself again. I feel like I had everything working (Monday). It stinks, the end result, but I feel like I have a lot of good stuff to work off of."

That setback was part of a five-game losing skid for Tampa Bay, which halted that slide with a 3-0 victory over Baltimore on Friday to even the four-game series at one win apiece.

"At this point, I think we'll take any win that we're gonna get," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Hopefully that gets some momentum and gets the bats (going) and gets the momentum for the rest of the series.

Zach Eflin yielded two hits over seven scoreless innings to match McClanahan and the Texas Rangers' Nathan Eovaldi with an American League-best 11 wins. Isaac Paredes and Jose Siri each belted a solo homer to help Tampa Bay move just four percentage points shy of the Orioles for first place in the AL East


Baltimore, which fell for just the third time in 13 outings, will send rookie right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (2-2, 7.33 ERA) to the mound on Saturday

Rodriguez, 23, won his lone career start vs. Tampa Bay after permitting two runs in 5 2/3 innings during a 4-2 victory on May 9. Three outings later, he was demoted to the minors after seeing his ERA balloon to 7.35 following his 10th start.


Rodriguez returned from Triple-A Norfolk on Monday but saw his winless stretch extend to four outings after yielding four runs in five-plus innings during a no-decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"Just being able to go back to Norfolk and gather myself and get back to the pitcher that I know I am, and that's throwing a lot of fastballs," Rodriguez said. "That's something we were able to do (on Monday). Left a few over the plate there in the sixth, but other than that, it was a little bit better than when I was up here before."


The Orioles would love to provide more offensive support on Saturday than they did on Friday. Baltimore mustered just two hits and two walks while striking out 14 times

"Just wasn't our night offensively," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said

--Field Level Media