After a convincing 8-3 victory in yesterday’s series opener-Memorial Day-matinee, the Rays looked to seal a series win against the Blue Jays and left handed starter Clayton Richard. The Rays haven’t necessarily played bad at home, but their 14-11 record at the Trop is a shade worse than their 18-8 road mark.
With a four game series against the red hot homer happy Minnesota Twins looming. It would be important for the Rays to get into a groove at home.
Opener Ryne Stanek pitched a scoreless first inning, and the Rays wasted no time creating a scoring threat in the home half, loading the bases with just one out. Travis d’Arnaud drove in the lone run (his first as a Ray) on a sacrifice fly to deep center.
After another easy inning from Stanek, Ryan Yarbrough took over the pitching duties for the Rays in the third, coming off a masterful outing against the Indians over the weekend. He’d throw another clean inning, and the Rays would add another run on a peculiar inside the park homer by Avisail Garcia:
The ball had a 51 degree launch angle and traveled just 287 feet, and Randal Grichuk never saw it. That’s what you call home field advantage.
In the fourth, Yarbrough got himself into his only jam of the game, allowing runners to reach second and third with none out, getting out of it unscathed after striking out shortstop Brandon Drury to end the threat, with emotion to boot:
He wouldn’t go a whole lot deeper than that, as the game remained 2-0 into the 6th when he gave way to Chaz Roe, who only needed one pitch to retire the only batter he faced. Emilio Pagan pitched a clean seventh, and Austin Meadows continued doing Austin Meadows-type things, adding some insurance and extending the lead to three:
Diego Castillo was called upon to finish things out. After getting into some trouble and eventually conceding the shutout, he ultimately finished the inning and earned the save.
With the Yankees losing a close 5-4 contest to the Padres, the Rays pull back within one. Blake Snell takes the mound tomorrow in the finale opposite Jays rookie Trent Thornton.
Here’s what Garcia had to say about it after the game: