Boy, oh boy, if you enjoy good Rays baseball, this game was full of little treasures for you.
Right off the hop, let’s talk about Blake Snell. I’m starting to feel a bit spoiled that I’m lucking into recapping all these Snell starts, because he’s quickly becoming the most consistent and exciting pitcher in the starting rotation. Tonight he motored through the early innings like he had to get back to the dugout to put out a fire. Even as the game progressed and his command wasn’t as sharp, he still managed to keep the damage limited to two earned runs.
Ultimately he was able to sail through seven innings and the first out of the eighth, and while four of the five hits he gave up were for multiple bases, things never got wildly out of control. His final line for the day was 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB on 104 pitches. Really nice quality start from Snell.
Offense? You like offense? We’ve got that too!
Wilson Ramos two-run moonshot over the Green Monster in the first? You betcha.
Rob Refsnyder, just back into the lineup for the first time in ages, knocked his own towering homer over the wall in the third.
Not ready to give up on his tremendous April numbers, Daniel Robertson blasted his own left field home run in the fourth. By their powers combined, the Rays found themselves with an early 4-0 lead, something that can’t be overvalued against the red hot Red Sox.
The Sox got back two of their own as Snell flagged a little in the sixth. As mentioned above, Snell gave up multiple extra base hits, and it was on two of those that the Sox — thanks to Mookie Betts an J.D. Martinez — were able to get guys across home plate and cut back some of the lead.
Let’s take a break in the action for this utterly adorable enemy meet-up.
RT to hit a @Braves fan directly in the feels. pic.twitter.com/zjEIDAA31G— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 28, 2018
Jonny Venters is a jewel, may he LOOGY long and LOOGY strong.
All righty, back to the game.
Chaz Roe comes in and I think it’s safe to say his questionable experiment with those braids was short lived. Thank goodness. Let those curls loose, Chaz, let them be free. Roe gave up a double to Mookie Betts — his second of the night — and with a mere two run lead, there was no way the Rays could give an inch. The Red Sox are a team that WILL take a mile.
Speaking of... a long single from J.D. Martinez (hmm, I’m noticing a trend here) scored Betts and suddenly that lead was down to one. Roe was able to escape the remainder of the eighth inning without getting into any further trouble.
Denard Span managed to draw a walk with some impressive patience and drove Hector Velasquez out of the game in the ninth. Alas, Span tried to steal second. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but you have to be able to run fast to steal. So that went about as well as you might expect. But bless him for trying.
Heyo, we’re here! Bottom of the ninth, and oh boy, it’s Alex Colomé o’clock! Brace yourselves!
He sure made it interesting, but was ultimately able to wrap it up cleanly. Rays win!