Preview: Jake Faria tries to lead Rays to sweep of Royals

TV: FOX Sports Sun

TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 1:30 p.m.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Faria is like the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem about the little girl with a curl.

“When she was good, she was very good indeed, but when she was bad she was horrid,” Longfellow wrote.

Faria has allowed one or zero runs in four of last six starts and in five of his eight starts. He has a 1.26 ERA in those five starts.

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Faria is also one of six starters in the majors this season to allow seven runs or more in multiple starts this season. He has two such starts, as does Kansas City right-hander Jason Hammel.

Faria and Hammel square off on Wednesday in the finale of this three-game series.

Faria allowed seven runs in Friday’s loss at Baltimore.

“I think there’s something to take away from that one,” Faria said. “I didn’t have my best stuff I was able to get through six good innings and, the seventh inning, just kind of lost focus and kind of fell apart. But, I take away a lot of good from that outing. Then, going into this one it’s kind of the same as the last ones.”

This will be Faria’s first time facing the Royals.

“They don’t know what to really look for or what to expect, and the same with me,” Faria said. “I have the benefit of sitting and watching them for two games.”

Faria said he needs to change the eye level.

“I think for a while I was getting a little one-dimensional,” he said. “Just moving the ball around, changing my game up every so often.”

Faria takes a 3-2 record with a 5.09 ERA into the start. Hammel is 0-4 with a 6.13 ERA.

Hammel, too, is coming off a bad outing. He was charged with nine runs on six hits with three walks in 3 2/3 innings in a Friday start at Cleveland. The Royals, however, came back to win 10-9. It was their last victory as they’ve lost four straight and six of seven.

Hammel is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA at home this season. He is 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Rays.

Rays third baseman Matt Duffy and right fielder Carlos Gomez left the game Tuesday with injuries. Gomez exited in the sixth with right groin tightness, while Duffy left in the fifth with right hamstring tightness.

“I don’t have a clear sense of who’s going to be available and what we’re going to do,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ll probably wait and check on them tomorrow morning.”

Duffy could be more of a concern since he’s been on the disabled list before with hamstring issues.

“I think Matt’s a pretty headsy player in the fact that he knows his body and probably learned a lot about his body the last year sitting on the DL,” Cash said. “Maybe we caught it in time where we can avoid something.”

Gomez said he has never had a groin injury.

“When I was running to first it kind of grabbed me and got tight,” Gomez said. “So, when I bunt and I tried to run, I stopped because I feel like if I continue to run I’m going to hurt.”

Gomez said the training staff checked him out.

“It looked good; looked strong, but it’s a day-to-day thing,” he said. “I’ve never had any problem with my groin, so something new for me. Tomorrow is the more important day and we’ll see how I feel and we take it from there.

“But, in my groin, in my right side, is something that you use every time (swinging) and defensively. You drive with it or when you take off and run. We don’t think that it’s something bad.”

Duffy said it is the same hamstring that landed him on the disabled list last season.

“I think the plan is a day or two and see how it feels,” Duffy said. “After scoring from second in the first inning, it felt a little tight. Never really felt it grab like last time. Just kind of walking around the dugout and, yeah, it feels like it’s there.

“Just kind of general tightening over the next three innings that kind of made me uneasy. Obviously, not want to really push it and at that point you’re either going to hurt the team because you can’t score from second running a hundred percent or you’re going to hurt yourself trying to get to a hundred percent. So, at that point, say something and make it a one- or two-day thing.”

The Royals played Tuesday without outfielder Jorge Soler (displaced rib) and infielder Cheslor Cuthbert (back spasms). Manager Ned Yost said both could probably play Wednesday.

The Rays won the first two games of the series. The Royals are 1-11-2 in 14 series this season.