TV: Sun Sports
Time: Pregame coverage begins at 12:30 p.m.
Fighting to stay in the wild-card race, the Tampa Bay Rays are hoping Drew Smyly can help their cause while getting the better of his former team.
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Smyly faces the Detroit Tigers for the first time Monday since he was dealt last year when the teams begin a three-game series.
The Rays (67-69) remained 4 1/2 games behind Texas for the second wild-card spot after losing 6-4 to the New York Yankees on Sunday. Chris Archer made two huge mistakes - giving up back-to-back homers to Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez - that erased a 3-0 lead and sent Tampa to its third loss in four games.
"I didn't execute in the biggest moment of the game," Archer said. "Am I disappointed? Of course. We need to win every single game."
Smyly (2-2, 3.11 ERA), who was drafted in the second round by the Tigers in 2010 and made his debut in 2012, gets a chance to right the Rays and also put together strong consecutive outings for the first time since missing more than three months due to a torn labrum. The left-hander had his best start among the four he's had since coming back, matching a season high with 10 strikeouts and limiting Baltimore to four hits in seven shutout innings of an 11-2 victory Tuesday.
"I'm looking forward to it for sure," Smyly told MLB's official website. "It's exciting. I played there for three years, loved every bit of it. They've got great fans. Hopefully they'll support me when I come back."
In his two victories since coming back, Smyly hasn't allowed a run in 12 2-3 innings. In his other two outings, he's yielded nine runs and 15 hits in 8 1-3 innings while going 0-1.
Tigers counterpart Randy Wolf (0-3, 6.11) is also hopeful for support - of the offensive kind. The Tigers have failed to score in each of his three starts since being called up last month, and the left-hander was drilled for eight runs in 3 2-3 innings of a 12-1 defeat at Kansas City on Wednesday.
Wolf has dropped five straight starts dating back to a 3-1 victory over Tampa Bay on June 2, 2014, when he limited the Rays to one run in six innings.
Detroit's late-season swoon continued with a 4-0 defeat to Cleveland on Sunday, its third shutout loss while dropping 13 of the last 16. The last-place Tigers, who have matched a season worst by falling 12 games under .500 at 62-74, are 10-19 versus the AL East, getting outscored 182-111 in those games.
"We hit some balls decent, barreled some balls," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Ball didn't seem to be traveling for us."
Ian Kinsler, who made a pinch-hit appearance Sunday, is 3 for 7 with a homer versus Smyly. Miguel Cabrera has gone 10 games without a homer and is hitting .194 in that span.
Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe is hitting .538 with a 1.379 OPS during a seven-game hit streak.