ST. PETERSBURG — Lefty Ryan Yarbrough will take the mound Friday night against the Orioles in his first start since throwing a complete game against the Yankees on June 3 in New York — the first in his career and the first for the Rays since May 2016, snapping a major-league record streak of 731 games without.
Since his historic outing, Yarbrough spent a week recovering, resting and enjoying his success.
“It’s one of those things where, as a pitcher, you just kind of, in your mind, you’re wanting to go nine every time,” Yarbrough said. “So, when you’re done, you’re just like, ‘Okay, saved the bullpen.’ That was my main concern, and then everyone was so excited for you. It’s kind of cool to see everyone really relish in that with me.”
Family, friends and former coaches and teammates reached out to congratulate Yarbrough for this feat. Current Boston pitcher Matt Andriese, who threw the Rays’ last complete game on May 14, 2016, told Yarbrough afterward that it was about time.
“I always had fun with Andriese here,” Yarbrough said. “He was a good guy to look up to when I first got called up, so it’s pretty cool that he was able to text me about that.”
Yarbrough threw a career-high 113 pitches in the complete game, but after a full week of rest said he feels fresh and ready to go. Manager Kevin Cash sees no need to lighten his starter’s workload today after the long recovery period.
“It timed up again really well, for him to (take seven days off),” Cash said. “He should be pretty good.”
Yarbrough also ended a personal streak in the Yankees’ game, his first win as a starter since since Aug. 11, 2019, having gone 24 without, four shy of the major-league mark.
The Rays swept Baltimore, currently fifth in the American League East (22-39), in the teams’ last series at Camden Yards on May 18-20.
Yarbrough’s two biggest concerns for today are likely Cedric Mullins and Trey Mancini, the Orioles’ most clutch hitters. Mullins is among the American League leaders in both batting average (.323, ranking third) and OPS (.928, seventh). Mancini’s 45 RBIs rank him fifth.
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