You’d be forgiven if you thought this game was being played in the Mirror Dimension for a good long while. Every time the Toronto Blue Jays scored a run or two, the Rays had an immediate response at the bottom of the inning. In the first, the Jays scored a run to put the Rays in an early hole, but Joey Wendle answered back with a sec fly to score Matt Duffy. Duffy was placed on third base thanks to a double by Jake Bauers, who would have a heckuva night. But we’ll get to that in a few.
Teoscar Hernandez (have I been writing his name as “Toe-scar” up until about 15 seconds ago? Who can say?) smacked a first pitch fastball for a home run over the right field fence. Surely this would be the final nail in the coffin for the Ra-
oh no it wasn’t
RBI for Willy and Mallex in the third and we're tied.#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/hC7C0rG3x6— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 12, 2018
With two outs, consecutive hits by Joey Wendle. Willy Adames, and Mallex Smith scored a pair of runs to tie it up again. Again, can we just reiterate how exciting that sentence is? Those are some names that the Rays are gonna be counting on for a while. I think Wendle might even stick around for longer than some people might expect. Of course, not at the expense of guys like D-Rob and Adames, but still.
The Rays broke the Mirror Spell in the fourth in the most exciting way. Jake Bauers hit his very first home run of his career with Matt Duffy on base, to give the Rays a 5-4 lead!
The future is here... and it's got a sweet lefty swing. pic.twitter.com/twp2qh6rTd— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 12, 2018
First game for the #Rays Jake Bauers with Willy Adames and it's a game of anything you can do I can do better. Fun to watch both together.— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) June 12, 2018
Really looking forward to seeing the young core do young core things in the upcoming future. And by the upcoming future I mean 2019 and beyond. If the Rays finish at .500 it’ll be a miracle.
Ryan Yarbrough sensed that the spell was broken, and responded with a shutdown fifth inning. The Rays also responded to his shutdown inning by generously offering John Axford a shutdown inning of his own, wrapping up the sixth inning offense on a mere four pitches.
Yarbrough left the inning after six innings pitched, with 88 pitches. He collected four strikeouts and allowed a walk, and all four runs allowed were earned. Diego Castillo entered for the seventh and got two strikeouts (and a caught stealing!) of his own. The seventh inning offense also made much more noise. The Rays loaded the bases on no outs on a Jake Bauers walk, Wilson Ramos single, and a HBP from C.J. Cron. John Axford, who stayed in after his 4-pitch inning, made a sloppy play and airmailed the ball, turning a likely double play into a two-run play. The Rays scored another sac fly run to put a bow on a four-run inning, and that was all she wrote.
Rays relievers faced the minimum in the final two innings to wrap up an 8-4 win. This was a fun game to watch! Hopefully the rest of the baseball games the Rays ever play will be this fun too.