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Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 18,473
Miley to make Astros debut against Rays
Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays
- The Rays are 32-21 (.604) all-time against the Astros, their best record against any current AL team.
- Blake Snell went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA last season, allowing just 112 hits in 180.2 innings. The 112 hits were the fewest ever allowed in a 20-win season in MLB history, besting the previous record of 139 by Clayton Kershaw in 2014.
- The Rays had just four players hit 10+ home runs for the team last season (tied with Detroit for the fewest in MLB), and only one of those four players is still with the team (Willy Adames).
- Justin Verlander continues to be baseball's foremost workhorse pitcher, as last year marked the eighth time in his career he led the AL in total pitches thrown. Since pitches were first tracked beginning in 1988, no other pitcher has led his league (AL or NL) in pitches more than four times (Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Barry Zito are second with four each).
- Alex Bregman posted a .553 on-base percentage in last year's playoffs, the fifth best all-time in a single postseason (minimum 35 PA) behind Manny Ramirez in 2008 (.667), Barry Bonds in 2002 (.581), Jon Jay in 2014 (.571) and Rickey Henderson in 1989 (.568).
- George Springer's 24 career leadoff homers are tied with Hanley Ramirez (2005-09) for the most all-time in a player's first five seasons in the majors.
- Bryant injured as Cubs blown out by Reds
- A's rout Mariners for ninth straight win
- Biggio hits first homer, Jays rip Padres
- BoSox top Astros' Verlander, avoid sweep
- Odorizzi helps hot Twins sweep White Sox
Wade Miley will make his Houston debut when the Astros visit the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of their four-game series on Sunday afternoon.
The 32-year-old left-hander signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with Houston on Feb. 1. The Astros hope Miley will fill some of the void left by the departures of starters Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel.
Morton signed with the Rays in the offseason and then beat the Astros on Friday night, allowing two runs and three hits over five innings in the 4-2 win. Keuchel remained unsigned as of Saturday.
Wiley is looking forward to being part of an Astros rotation that includes Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, who led the Astros to the 2017 World Series title.
"My motivation (to sign with Houston) was it's a good ball club and we have a chance to win a World Series," he told reporters in spring training. "That's where it ends right there."
Miley signed with the Milwaukee Brewers before the start of last season, was called up from the minors in early May and went 5-2 with a career-best 2.57 ERA in 16 starts.
"I hope to keep it going," Miley said. "I'm looking forward to working with these guys here. It's going to be a pretty easy transition."
The Rays have won two of the first three games of the series to knock the Astros under .500 for the first time since June 20, 2016. Tampa Bay will be trying to start 3-1 for the first time since 2012.
Yonny Chirinos is scheduled to start on the mound for Tampa Bay.
Seven of the 18 appearances for Chirinos last season were starts and he finished 5-5 overall with a 3.51 ERA. Chirinos has never faced the Astros.
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said the Rays will need to rely on their depth on Sunday and throughout the season.
"Some teams are built differently," he said. "One way to win is run eight guys out there for 155 games. ... That's not the way we're built, so we're going to continue to find ways to have these guys get opportunities."
Miley pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2011-14, then spent the next three seasons in the American League with the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners before playing in Milwaukee last season.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he likes that Miley is familiar with AL hitters. Miley is 4-5 in his career against Tampa Bay with a 3.36 ERA in 12 starts.
"I'm pretty confident that he's going to keep us in games," Hinch said. "He's going to do his job as a starting pitcher, which is to get to the middle or latter third of the game with a lead. That's what we ask of any of our guys and he's equipped to do that."
The Astros could have All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa back in the lineup for his season debut on Sunday. Correa, the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year, missed the first three games with a neck injury.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 30, 2019