With the first series loss already locked up for the Rays, Tyler “New Hotness” Glasnow took on David “Old and Busted” Price on Easter Sunday in an attempt to prevent a sweep. Unfortunately, the Rays came up short, 4-3. But if you like tense extra inning games, there was still a lot to like.
If the Rays were going to pull it off, they’d have to do it with some new faces, most notably Joey Wendle rising again from the IL.
With Glasnow struggling a bit with command, the Rays kept the Red Sox off the board in the early going thanks to some solid play in the field. In the first, following a Betts walk and move up on a groundout, Willy Adames saved a run on a brilliant snag of a J.D. Martinez grounder that was ticketed for centerfield. The throw to first was late, allowing Martinez to reach, but Betts had to hold at third, where he was stranded. In the second, following a walk and steal by Devers, Glasnow helped out his own cause by picking Devers off second on an inside move.
The Rays also left some prime on the rib in the first, failing to cash in on a couple walks while swinging through some hittable pitches, and were on the verge of doing so again in the third after Adames and Perez led off with singles. But with two outs, Daniel Robertson put a 3-2 center cut fastball from Price into the right center gap.
Moreland homered to right leading off the fourth to cut the Rays lead in half. But a loud flyout by Martinez was followed by a Bogaerts strikeout on a filthy curve and 1-unassisted groundout from Devers.
Glasnow continued to scuffle throughout, handing out his third free pass of the day with one out in the fifth, matching his season total coming into today. But with Bradley running, Vazquez ripped a liner right to Adames at short, who easily doubled off Bradley.
Glasnow gave up a one out single to Betts in the sixth on an 0-2 pitch, ending his afternoon after just 76 pitches. Overall, it was solid performance by the big righty on a day he didn’t have great command, going five and a third and giving up three hits and three walks. He struck out five.
Adam Kolarek came on and faced Steve Pearce, who was pinch hitting for Moreland, and walked him. Cash then called on righty Chaz Roe to face J.D. Martinez. Roe couldn’t keep his magic slider in the zone, walking Martinez on five pitches and loading the bases. Bogaerts followed by lining a single to center, scoring Betts and Pearce. 3-2 Red Sox.
After getting ahead of Devers 0-2, Roe couldn’t get him to chase, walking Devers to reload the bases and bringing yesterday’s hero Michael Chavis to the plate. Though Roe still unable to get the slider in the zone, Chavis grounded a 2-1 middle-middle fastball to Adames for a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play.
Stanek righted the ship in the seventh, working a scoreless frame despite giving up a couple singles, and Emilio Pagan looked sharp setting down the side in order in the eighth, including a pair of strikeouts. But the Rays offense was stymied by Red Sox relievers, as Workman and Brewer countered with clean frames.
Finally, the Rays broke through when yesterday’s goat Tommy Pham squared up a Matt Barnes curve with one out in the eighth.
Le dijo adiós indeed.
Diego Castillo was back to being dominant in the top of the ninth, striking out the side in order and setting the Rays up for the season’s first walkoff. Marcus Walden and his X-ray specs countered by setting the Rays down in order, and we got us some Free Baseball!
Castillo stayed on for the tenth to get some work on his slider, apparently, since virtually every pitch he threw in the long inning was of the bendy variety. And the inning was not smooth sailing, mostly because Kevin Kiermaier muffed a sliding catch in center on a Benintendi liner to start the inning. A Betts popout followed. Benintendi then swiped second with Pearce batting before Castillo slider’d his way to striking out Pearce swinging. The Rays then gave a free pass to Martinez, bringing Bogaerts to the plate. After a scary liner just foul on a slider that didn’t slide, Castillo got the strikeout he needed on — you guessed it — a slider. Crisis averted.
With Walden still pitching the tenth for the Sox, Yandy Diaz reached with one out on a weak grounder that stayed fair up the third base line. He moved up to second on a Pham ground out to short, but Robertson was unable to drive him in, grounding out to short instead.
More Free Baseball!
Devers blooped a single to center against Jose Alvarado to start the Red Sox 11th, followed by a walk to Chavis. Bradley bunted the runners up a base for Christian Vazquez, who hit a 1-0 sinker deep to center. Kiermaier made an over-the-shoulder catch, but Devers scored easily on the sac fly. Alvarado got out of the inning on a grounder to second.
Brasier got the call to close it out for the Red Sox. Though Wendle got a pitch to hit and gave it a ride to center, the Rays went down in order.
The (still first place!) Rays have now lost four in a row...by a grand total of five runs. Woof.