After taking two games from Boston, the 18-9 Tampa Bay Rays will look to face the Kansas City Royals for the 2nd time in two weeks.
Rays would have Ryne Stanek open with Yonny Chirinos getting most of the work. Royals would send familiar face Brad Keller on the bump.
If you missed it, Rays called their #8 power hitting 1B prospect Nathaniel Lowe to the big leagues and immediately placed him in the lineup to DH!
Tonight’s #Rays lineup with @nathaniel_lowe hitting 5th in his Major League debut: pic.twitter.com/WnEGMG2dWe— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) April 29, 2019
We have a feeling this @nathaniel_lowe guy will be easy to root for. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/A2WA1ThyAL— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 29, 2019
Rays would get things started by scoring in the 1st inning. Again.
Ji-Man Choi would work a 2 out walk, and get all the way to third base after a wild pitch by Brad Keller, and then a balk. Yandy Diaz would single him home to make it 1-0 Rays.
Rays would continue to add on in the 2nd inning after Kevin Kiermaier HBP (he would stay in, thankfully!) and a Daniel Robertson single would put runners at the corners with 2 outs.
Tommy Pham wouldn't let off the gas, as he smoked a 108.7 MPH in the OF for a triple, score Michael Perez and make it quickly 4-0 Rays.
As for Nate Lowe, his first PA resulted in a fielders choice, but it still must be surreal for him.
It’s a reality now, @nathaniel_lowe. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/z727GiOSuN— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 30, 2019
Ryne Stanek would open for 1.1 Innings, on 15 pitches, giving up 1 hit and striking out 1. The Rays’ comfortable lead was short lived, as the Royals rallied in the 3rd inning with some help from a Daniel Robertson error, and a Chirinos walk to put two runners on with only one out.
Aldaberto Mondesi would triple home both of those runners and cut the Rays lead in half at 4-2. An Alex Gordon sac fly, that should’ve ended the inning, instead puts another run on the board and the Rays 4 run lead is quickly only 1 after 3 innings.
The Rays would have an answer, and it would come off a Yandy Diaz 105 MPH single in the 5th would score Brandon Lowe, and make it 5-3 Rays.
Yet, the Royals would come back... again after a massive Jorge Soler HR to make it 5-4 Rays, with the Royals closely behind.
Yonny Chirinos would go 5.2 IP, giving up only 2 H and 4 R (2 ER), walking 1 and striking out 4. Solid outing for the bulk guy!
In the bottom of the 8th inning, with nobody on and 2 outs, Nate Lowe would get his 1st MLB hit.
Save that ball, @nathaniel_lowe!#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/rSUlu3CW8X— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 30, 2019
113.3 mph off the bat for #Rays Nate Lowe. That'll play.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) April 30, 2019
That would be the hardest hit ball of the game. It would bring up Kevin Kiermaier, and the Royals would try to counter with a LHP from the bullpen.
But it wouldn’t work out and the Rays picked up a much needed insurance run as N. Lowe would score. 6-4 Rays.
Diego Castillo would pitch for the 8th inning and, besides an(other) Adalberto Mondesi single, would sit down the other batters on a groundout and 2 strikeouts.
Ji-Man Choi looked like he never missed a beat while away, walking once and going 2 for 4 including this double to blow it open for the Rays.
The 8-4 lead was comfortable enough for Kevin Cash to go with Chaz Roe in the 9th inning. Roe allowed a lead-off walk to Hunter Dozier, who scored on a Kelvin Gutierrez single, but otherwise was solid and struck out 3 batters to preserve the win for the Rays.
Final: Rays: 8, Royals: 5. Rays are 19-9 on the season with a 2.0 game lead in the AL East.
They’ll try to play a game tomorrow (weather doesn’t look too good) with reigning Cy Young winner Blake Snell on the bump for the Rays. The Royals are sending Jakob Junis to the mound, who went 5.0 IP with 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, and 6 Ks against the Rays in his last outing. Game time is 8:15 EST.