5/17/23 Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Mets

Mark Vientos, New York Mets.

Justin Verlander’s Citi Field debut didn’t go as planned for the New York Mets (20-23) last night. The Tampa Bay Rays (32-11) pounded Verlander for six runs in five innings, including a pair of home runs from Isaac Paredes, to snag an 8-5 win over the Mets in the opener of a three-game series. The Mets will look to bounce back tonight as they continue their series with Tampa Bay. First pitch for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

Right-hander Kodai Senga (4-2, 4.14 ERA) is set to take the mound for the Mets tonight. Senga struggled in his last start, giving up five runs in five innings against the Cincinnati Reds last Thursday to suffer his second loss of the season. The Rays will counter with lefty Josh Fleming (0-0, 4.26 ERA). Fleming last appeared as the bulk pitcher for the Rays on Friday, giving up one run in four innings against the New York Yankees, but was not a factor in the decision of a game Tampa Bay ended up losing 6-5.

Local Coverage:

Television: SNY

Radio: WCBS

New York Mets Lineup:

Pre-Game Notes:

    Senga has never faced the Rays before.

    Fleming is 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA in two career appearances, including one start, against the Mets.

    The Mets have recalled 3B Mark Vientos from AAA Syracuse. INF Luis Guillorme was optioned to Syracuse to make room for Vientos on the active roster.

    Vientos will start at third base in his season debut, giving Brett Baty the night off, and will bat eighth.

    Jeff McNeil will sit with the lefty Fleming on the mound. Eduardo Escobar will play second base and bat second.

    Daniel Vogelbach will sit again with a lefty on the mound. Tommy Pham will serve as the designated hitter again and bat fifth.

    McNeil is 3 for 3 with an RBI in his career against Pham.

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