LOS ANGELES — The Tampa Bay Rays would like to end their West Coast swing on a high note. They've endured plenty of low blows during stops in Oakland and Los Angeles.
Rays lefty Matt Moore (6-7, 4.31 ERA) will face Dodgers righty Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.61 ERA) as Tampa Bay tries to snap a four-game skid in the series finale between the two clubs on Wednesday.
Tuesday's 3-2 defeat by the Dodgers was the latest setback in some close games. That loss comes on the heels of three consecutive ones to the A's, two of those coming in walk-off fashion.
Article continues below ...
Against the Dodgers, the Rays got a solid outing from Chris Archer. However, Yasmani Grandal's solo home run in the seventh inning was the difference.
“(Grandal) has been unbelievable,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He's obviously swinging the bat a lot better. He's having better at-bats. Again, the big homer tonight. And behind the plate he's been great.”
Grandal's blast was one of the few blemishes on Archer, who Rays manager Kevin Cash believed had his best stuff.
“It was a good outing but we lost the game, so it's hard to look at it from a personal standpoint on how well I did whenever there's some things I could have done better obviously,” said Archer, who has gone six or more innings in 11 of his last 12 starts. “I want to fill the strike zone but I want to win more. That's the only thing I'm really thinking about now.
“Yeah, I pitched well, and we played great baseball but I wish I could have done a little better to win.”
Los Angeles got a stronger performance from Norris, who blanked the Rays for 6 1/3 innings, striking out six and allowing just two hits with two walks (one intentional). Norris (6-9) also recorded his 1,000th strikeout during the win, striking out Kevin Kiermaier in the fourth.
“It's just a testament of how hard I've worked in my career, and this isn't easy for any of us, I promise you,” said Norris, who is 3-2 with a 4.40 ERA in six games with the Dodgers since coming over in a trade with the Atlanta Braves.
Although the two clubs split a two-game series at Tropicana Field in Tampa on May 3-4, the Rays are still looking for their first win at Dodger Stadium. They were swept in a three-game set in August 2013, the only other time they've played here.
The Rays have played regular-season games in 41 parks, but Dodger Stadium is the only one they've failed to capture a win. Overall, they are 4-8 all-time against Los Angeles.
The Rays also have never homered here either. They might have trouble doing so against McCarthy, who has pitched well since returning from Tommy John surgery. McCarthy last faced the Rays on Sept. 17, 2014 as a member of the Yankees, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings and earning the win in the Yankees' 3-2 victory. He struck out four and walked one on 91 pitches. In 12 career appearances (11 starts) against Tampa Bay, McCarthy has a 2.88 ERA with 52 strikeouts against 19 walks.
Moore has gone at least six innings in nine straight starts, the longest run of his career. However, he served up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings on May 3 in a 10-5 win by Los Angeles.