At one point during this game, the Fox broadcast crew announced that the Rays are currently 2-10 for day games at home. As the staffer generally responsible for recapping Sunday afternoon day games, this stat feels very, very accurate.
That said, things went in the Rays favor today, with a slew of dads on hands to enjoy Father’s Day festivities at the park. In spite of the Angels scoring in the top of the first with a Pujols sac fly, the Rays were quick to rebound on a Brandon Lowe home run in the bottom of the same inning.
In the second inning, Kiermaier hit a mammoth RBI triple, wherein he slid into third just because his uniform might have been a little too clean. He then easily scored as Garcia fouled out to first. The Rays had a two-run lead.
The Angels weren’t going to just sit around and let the Rays win, though. In the third inning some guy no one has ever heard of named Mike Trout, scored on a Fletcher sac fly. And Fletcher wasn’t done yet, in the fifth he also hit an RBI single to score Ohtani.
A tie game? Not with Tommy Pham at the plate. He hit a 419’ home run in the bottom of the fifth to reclaim the lead for the Rays once again.
Let’s talk about the pitching for a moment. Ryne Stanek did his Opener duties, giving up the single run in the first. Then Jalen Beeks came on with one out in the second, and gave up two runs on four hits, also giving up two walks (and collecting two strikeouts). The Rays then turned the game into a more traditional bullpen outing, with Emilio Pagan collecting two outs, Colin Poche managing two innings of work with only 15 pitches (12 of which were strikes, if you’re still keeping track of how good his ratios have been). Adam Kolarek had a beautiful inning of work in the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth the Rays further extended their lead with a beautifully placed single from Diaz to score Pham. A wild pitch then scored Lowe.
Good thing they got those extra runs, too, because Diego Castillo came on to close things out, and ended up giving up a two-run homer to Mike Trout with one out. (Props to Zunino who managed to keep a wild pitch under control and keep Ohtani from advancing to scoring position for Pujols).
Things definitely got WAY, WAY too interesting in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately Castillo was able to collect the final strikeout, and the Rays walked away with the win (though Calhoun was barking at the umpire about the final strike in a very real way. Sorry, buddy, can’t get replays on a strikeout.)