Howdy folks! Hope you’re feeling good after a Rays win. I know I am. Even if the season is pretty much lost it’s still nice to win games against contending teams. I also hope you enjoyed your Labor Day, the most inaccurately-named holiday we have.
Tonight’s recap will be a little more brief, thanks to that aforementioned holiday, and I hope (if you had the day off) that you rested easy with loved ones, maybe had a BBQ and cracked open a brewski or what have you. Recaps are always more fun to write after a win, that’s for sure.
- The Rays wasted a golden opportunity to score in the first inning, but luckily that would not be the story of the night. A leadoff Kiermaier double turned into a man on third with no outs to kick things off, but neither Duda, Longo, nor LoMo could get him in. LoMo in particular, would make up for the inability to GTMI with an opposite-field home run in the seventh inning, but we’ll get to that.
- The Rays and Twins traded blows in the second inning, each putting up a run a piece. Corey Dickerson hit the equalizer with a blast to center field to tie the game at 1-1, and Dickerson nearly missed hitting another one out a bit later on in the fourth inning. A millimeter more bat on the ball might have sent it over the left field fence, but instead it stayed in the park, just missing the leaping glove of left fielder Eddie Rosario.
- The third inning saw the Rays score another run, one that came about from some good ol’ small ball. Kiermaier reached base on an infield hit, stole second, and flew home on a Longoria single. This would be one lead (finally!) that the Rays would not relinguish throughout the night.
- Alex Cobb bounced back hard after his last start. He pitched into the sixth, and collected seven strikeouts, which all things considered is a pretty high number for him this year. Twins hitters had no answers for his offspeed pitches, which was a welcome sight to see.
- The sixth inning went out like gangbusters. I’m gonna be honest, I’ve never actually used that phrase before, and I am not totally sure I am using it right, but you know what I mean. The first three hitters reached base, scoring one run and putting men on second and third base. This knocked Jose Berrios out of the game. Adeiny Hechavarria knocked home another one on a sac fly, which Brad Miller and Corey Dickerson wisely tagged up on. So it was that Kiermaier’s third hit of the night knocked in both men, putting a nice little capper on a four-run inning.
- LoMo hit his 36th homer of the year. I already told you that. I hate repeating myself.
- Brian Dozier hit a towering fly ball to left for a two-run homer. Hey did you know that Brian Dozier has 28 home runs this year? That’s how many Gary Sanchez has! Brian Dozier’s career really has taken a turn. Anyway, the Rays immediately responded in the bottom of the inning with four runs of their own. After loading the bases with no outs, a pinch-hitting Trevor Plouffe hit the ball just in front of the right fielder, and Brad Miller—who was tagging up—raced home to score. Longoria then singled up the middle to score two more, and LoMo really laid into a liner that settled just aside of the outfielder, scoring one more just for fun.
- Ryne Stanek allowed a run in the ninth inning, but also struck out the side! In a blowout, I’ll take that trade every time.
Congrats to the Rays. If they really want to say they are in the race, I don’t see how anything other than a home sweep of the Twins is going to do it. Tonight was a good start, at least.