On the awful road trip that wouldn’t end, all it would take was one mistake/poor decision/bad break to send things into a downward spiral. That mistake came in the top of first, when Matt Andriese threw this fastball 2-0 to Miggy Cabrera.
This is, generally speaking, not a good idea. The results were predictable, and the Miggy hit it approximately to Thonotosassa.
But then, something strange happened. Matt Andriese settled down, and pitched a pretty fine game. Relying heavily on his fastball and change, he lasted two batters into the seventh inning, giving up nary a run on just three additional hits, while walking one and striking out five.
It was, as the old timers say, a “gutty performance.”
As for the offense, Tim Beckham led the way, and that’s not a typo. In the third inning with Shane Peterson on first after a leadoff single, TBex got into a 0-1 Michael Fulmer fastball and hit a mile to left-center.
That was all they would need, but the offense tacked on some insurance anyway.
In the sixth, with two on and two out, Derek Norris -- who really could use BABIP luck -- ripped a 1-2 change from Fulmer off the wall in left for a long single, scoring Miller.
After Andriese finally hit the wall in the top of the seventh, surrendering a walk to Victor Martinez and an opposite field single to Justin Upton after a long at bat, Kevin Cash played a nice bit matchup managing, and both relievers he called on earned Goose Eggs in getting out of the jam. He brought in the Rays best “lefty,” Danny Farquhar, to face Tyler Colvin and Alex Avila. Farq retired Colvin on a force play, and K’d Avila. He was then lifted for Tommy Hunter, who finished the job by getting JaCoby Jones to line out softly to left on one pitch.
The Rays tacked on two more in the bottom of the seventh, when Kevin Kiermaier went the other way against lefty Kyle Ryan and doubled in the gap, chasing home Tim Beckham from first. KK then swiped third easily. He would later score on a Brad Miller single up the middle for the final margin.
Jumbo Diaz and Alex Colome worked uneventful and non-Goose Egg worthy eighth and ninth innings.