After a rain delay in dome-less Baltimore. The Rays head home to Tampa Bay to start their homestead with a 3 game inter-league series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It would be current Ray Blake Snell against former Ray Merrill Kelly.
In 2014, Merrill Kelly had a terrific year in Triple-A for the Rays. Then he went unprotected for and unselected in the Rule 5 draft. So he jumped to Korea.— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) May 6, 2019
Now he returns to face his old team, having fashioned himself into a big-leaguer.https://t.co/uYPlJjhw1G
With a successful stint and an impressive start with the D-backs, it makes one wonder if the Rays ( who struggled hard against Dylan Bundy and Baltimore) would be doomed by another former prospect that just owns the Rays.
Today was not that day.
Is it a Rays game if they don’t score in the 1st inning? This one came via a Ji-Man Choi forceout scored Brandon Lowe. If you are keeping count, the Rays have outscored their opponents 31-11 in the 1st inning. More runs would come in the 2nd inning after (almost) everyone got on base. Daniel Robertson would work a 3-2 count into a walk with the bases loaded to make it 2-0 Rays and Tommy Pham at the plate.
Pham Slam. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/9rihXR4x11— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 6, 2019
Tommy Pham’s 5th HR on the season and his 1st career Grand Slam would make it 6-0 Rays. 2nd inning. Woo! Want the stat cast? We got you:
Runs kept on coming with a Avisail Garcia singling home Yandy Diaz in the 3rd inning, and the Rays had a 7 run lead a third of the way through the game.
No lead is comfortable, right? We’ve seen Rays blow a 7 run lead plenty of times, and Snell did not exactly perform well his last time out against Kansas City.
.@snellzilla4 just had that look tonight. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/TkuzXGkruh— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 7, 2019
Snell must've been inspired by Tyler Glasnow’s start in Baltimore, because he came to deal.
Blake Snell, 96mph Fastball and 83mph Curveball, Individual Pitches and Overlay. #Snellzilla pic.twitter.com/UubfVU0zNu— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 6, 2019
Blake Snell was perfection, and I don’t mean that in the figurative sense. He flirted with a perfect game all up until the 6th inning, where Illdemaro Vargas singled, and Tim Locastro got hit by a pitch, but Snell got Ketel Marte to ground out softly and end the inning.
Zilla’s final line? 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 strikeouts, and only 83 pitches.
#Rays Cash also said that Snell wasn't going to pitch past the 6th inning even if he kept the perfect game alive— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) May 7, 2019
So Snell was solid, but JUST IN CASE the Rays bullpen gave up 7 runs, the Rays took out more insurance off a Daniel Robertson double, and an into the shift single from ROTY front-runner, Brandon Lowe.
Chaz Roe took over for Snell for 1.0 IP and delivered a clean inning with 0 H and 2 BB, but no Runs.
Meanwhile, the Rays kept on adding to the lead with a long awaited 2-run HR by Avisail Garcia.
I mean it was off of JR Murphy, but STILL!
Casey Sadler finished the game off, working for 2 IP, giving up 1 H, 1 R (Not Earned), 1 BB, and 1 K.
That would be your final. Rays: 12, Diamondbacks: 1. Rays will send out Ryne Stanek to open tomorrow against Taylor Clarke, who will be making his 1st MLB start. Game time is at 7:10 PM