Manager: Kevin Cash (4th season)
Last 10 games: 5-5
Who to watch: 1B C.J. Cron (12 HR, 32 RBIs), SS Daniel Robertson (.272), C Wilson Ramos (.301 with 7 HR, 29 RBIs), 3B Matt Duffy (.308), RHP Sergio Romo (5.96 ERA), RHP Ryne Stanek (3.97 ERA)
Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (2-1 in 2015)
June 5: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (9-1), 7:05 p.m., MASN2
June 6: TBA vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-6), 1:05 p.m., MASN2
Inside the Rays:
The Rays used their first-round selection in Monday’s First-Year Player Draft to select prep left-hander Matthew Liberatore after he fell to the 16th pick, allowing them to snag the top pitcher on their board. Back in the the big leagues, Tampa Bay comes to D.C. for interleague action on a four-game losing streak, and a sweep would get them back to .500. The Rays continue to shed salary that ranked them 28th in the majors as of opening day as they attempt to
Third baseman Matt Duffy has been on a tear of late, raising his average to .308. Duffy went 3-for-5 with a game-tying RBI single in an extra-inning loss to the Mariners on Friday. First baseman
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will be getting the nod Tuesday against the Nationals in his second start since August 2016. In his season debut on May 30, Eovaldi threw six hitless innings against the A’s in his first start since Tommy John surgery in 2016. Eovaldi is 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA in nine career starts against Washington. Wednesday’s Rays starter has yet to be announced, which means there is a chance that Tampa Bay might use one of its “openers” - relievers Sergio Romo or Ryne Stanek are the likeliest options - for an inning or so, then go with a pitcher who can throw multiple innings and before returning to the bullpen to close out the game.
New closer José Alvarado blew a save opportunity Sunday in a loss to the Mariners, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be a permanent replacement for Colomé.