After yesterday’s crazy 14-3 bout of the Minnesota Twins, the Tampa Bay Rays are looking to continue their hot hitting streak. Rays will send Opener Ryne Stanek with Jalen Beeks as the bulk pitcher, and would face off against young ace Jose Berrios. Rays would also welcome back Mike Zunino to the lineup after being on the IL since May 10th.
Willians Astudillo didn’t want to wait for the Rays to bury the Twins and decided to score first, singling home Jorge Polanco to make it 1-0 Twins in the top of the 1st inning.
Astudillo tried to get greedy and score from 1st after a ball got away from Heredia, but he didn’t watch the game tape where Kevin Kiermaier has a cannon for an arm, right?
Kiermaier also wanted to help the Rays offensively too, as he launched a 2 run HR, his 6th, to give the Rays a 2-1 lead in the 2nd inning.
Stanek exited after 2.0 IP, and worked around a solid appearance, only giving up the Astudillo run on 4 hits, walked none, and struck out 2.
Rays are top 10 in the league in stolen bases (Did you know that? I didn’t know that), but it is so much fun when someone steals home.
A double steal of Willy Adames and Austin Meadows makes it 3-1 Rays in the 3rd inning.
Kiermaier wasn’t alone in his defensive wizardry, with Christian Arroyo playing a sharp hot corner, barehanding a Jorge Polanco bunt in the 3rd inning and firing a strike to Choi at 1B and nabbing Polanco.
Jalen Beeks started the 3rd inning and went 3.1 IP with 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 3Ks. The two runs both came in the 5th inning off a Jorge Polanco double to score Johnathan Schoop. Willian Astudillo would single in the next AB, and tie the game at 3.
Emilio Pagan took over for Jalen Beeks in the 6th inning and 2 batters in got hit IN THE FACE by a Johnathan Schoop line drive at 70 MPH. Not a screamer, but Rays fans’ hearts stopped for a bit as Pagan was slow to get up.
Pagan would stay in and give up only 1 Hit, strike out 2 and walk N O B O D Y in 1.2 Innings.
Rays offense, however, would be anemic since the 3rd inning, not putting anybody on base since then. Twins had 9 hits going into the 9th compared to the Rays 3 and the game was still tied 3-3.
Start of the 8th inning Kevin Cash would call upon Jose Alvarado to preserve the 3-3 lead. He would face the bottom third of the order, only going 0.2 IP with no hits an only 1 intentional walk. Diego Castillo replace Alvarado and got the last out of the 8th with some help from an..unlikely ally.
Who says the dome sucks?
Diego Castillo continued in the 9th inning by hitting Johnathan Schoop. A Byron Buxton sac bunt would move him into scoring position, but Diego would counter by getting Max Kepler to ground out and get the 2nd out with a runner on third base. Castillo decided to intentionally walk Jorge Polanco to get to Willian Astudillo. Diego Castillo would quickly work Astudillo to an 0-2 count...
...and hit him to load the bases. That would be the end for Castillo and the Rays would go to ground ball machine Adam Kolarek to face LHH Eddie Rosario and help preserve a tie. Kolarek would get the ground ball! But it would be to the left side of the infield for a base hit, scoring 2 and giving the Twins a 5-3 lead.
Kolarek got the next batter, Max Kepler grounded out to Kolarek to end the 9th, but the damage was done.
Rays would get a baserunner in the 9th off a Daniel Robertson single, but Mike Zunino would ground out and end the game.
FINAL: Twins: 5, Rays: 2. Rays really didn't deserve to win this game, being out hit 10-4 by the Twins, but it seemed like the Rays kept it close, and lost an opportunity to steal a game where they were not hitting well.
Rays will look to get back on track and start another 6 game winning streak tomorrow with Yonny Chirinos starting the game and taking on Kyle Gibson. Gametime is at 1:10 PM