Don’t let the ignominious ending to the game sour the overall impression that you should be getting. Chris Archer dominated the AL East Beast (if preseason predictions are to be believed) Red Sox, and the Rays’ offense manhandled the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Despite a late-inning hiccup, this was an all-around successful win.
The offense awakens
In the top of the second inning, the Rays got a bit of help from one of the more unlikely DHs: Shane Peterson. With two outs, Peterson hooked one around the right field pole to score the first two runs of the game for the Rays. There would be more to come.
In the third Rick Porcello undoubtedly struggled. Porcello loaded the bases with two walks and a single to the middle of the order. The hot-hitting Logan Morrison, an afterthought in the Rays’ offseason moves, crushed one to right field for a grand slam, giving the Rays a 6-0 lead. As a fun side note, this is the first game I’ve recapped where the Rays hit a grand slam. At least, I’m pretty sure about this. I feel like I’d remember something like this. Morrison’s slam will now be tattooed on my chest, as is tradition for all DRaysBay writers.
The homers didn’t stop there. In the fifth, Brad Miller and Steven Souza Jr. homered back-to-back, knocking Porcello out of the game. Interestingly, Miller homered on the first pitch, and Souza homered on a full count, scoring on the fullest range of counts possible. I just thought that that was pretty cool, no major life lessons to be gleaned from that.
Archer holds his ground
As good as the Rays’ offense was, Archer did his job even better. His only real blemish came in the fifth inning, when he allowed three straight two-out hits to Dustrin Pedroia, Andrew Benintendi, and Mookie Betts, the regular Murder’s Row of this young Boston lineup. Fortunately, Archer coaxed a fly out from Hanley Ramirez, limiting the damage to one run.
In the sixth, Archer was removed for Jumbo Diax, who soon gave way to mop-up man Austin Pruitt with a 10-1 lead. Pruitt performed much as a mop-up guy might be expected to perform. After allowing a run in the seventh, Pruitt soaked up a couple of innings as the game moved on, but in the ninth he bent a bit. With the leverage shifting, Cash found it prudent to turn to Alex Colome, who did not pitch at all during the Yankees series. Colome faced two batter, and retired both of them, securing a 10-5 win for the Rays, snapping a 3 game losing streak, a losing streak that honestly seemed a lot longer.
Tomorrow the Rays face Chris Sale, one of the more formidable opponents in the American League not named Felix Hernandez. A no-hitter watch is in full effect.