Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco returns to the site of his near no-hitter when Cleveland faces Drew Smyly and the Rays in St. Petersburg on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.
Carrasco allowed one hit and one run in 8 2/3 innings during a victory over the Rays on July 1, 2015. He threw a season-high 124 pitches and struck out 13, with Joey Butler's RBI single with two outs in the ninth as his only blemish. During his season debut last Wednesday, Carrasco allowed four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in five innings as part of a no-decision against the Red Sox.
"When he's on, his stuff is overpowering," Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said. "I remember getting a couple of pitches to hit, and I fouled them back. And then he didn't give anything else."
The Rays will counter with left-hander Smyly, who surrendered five runs and six hits with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings in a loss to the Blue Jays in his season debut on April 4. He's a career 2-1 with a 4.25 ERA in 13 appearances (three starts) against Cleveland.
Things to know about this game
• Smyly warmed up and was ready to pitch Saturday night in Baltimore before the game was postponed. That prompted the Rays to slot him back into the rotation between left-hander Matt Moore and right-hander Chris Archer. Smyly told reporters his takeaway from Baltimore was to look at his wasted warmup "as kind of my mid-week bullpen."
As for facing the Indians, he faced them a lot during his time with the Tigers.
"I faced them a few times with the Tigers," Smyly said. "Some new faces over there, though. It'll be a tough test. ... Just looking forward to going out there and giving the team a 'W.'"
• Longoria has struggled against Carrasco throughout his career. The Rays' slugger is 2-for-16 with one RBI and five strikeouts in their meetings.
• There's the potential for damage if Yan Gomes faces Smyly. Gomes is 4-for-8 with two home runs against the left-hander.