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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Rays back in the win column

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And Mike Zunino has that big dad energy

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Keller was ‘cruising.’

The Royals starter needed just 63 pitches to get through the first 5 innings, and though the Rays offense hit a few screamers, they hadn’t scored a run since the 1st.

Keller needed 22 pitches to get through the 6th, however, and a Brandon Lowe double put the Rays within a run.

But manager Ned Yost stuck with his pitcher into the 7th, when Mike Zunino, fresh from the paternity list, delivered the devastating blow off of a fatigued Keller:

It was a memorable moment for Zunino, perhaps the most memorable:

Here’s what our colleagues at Royals Review had to say about Yost’s decision to keep Keller in the game into the 7th:

Sending Keller out for the seventh, manager Ned Yost had shown earlier this season he wouldn’t hesitate to stretch him out in the late innings. Knowing how poor the bullpen has performed in close situations through the first 22 games of 2019, the decision to proceed with Keller didn’t come as too much of a shock. However, perhaps staying in one batter too long, Mike Zunino crushed a two-run homer to dead center, giving the Rays their first lead of the night.

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