The Rays don’t know when to call it quits.
If you’re a Rays fan, like we are, it makes for some utterly bonkers, totally riveting late-inning ball games. If you’re a Twins fan and just came here for kicks, welcome, I think we can all agree that was nutty.
For the first six and a half innings of play, this was 100% the Twins game. With a 7-0 lead thanks to the efforts of former Rays starter Jake Odorizzi, and his six scoreless innings of work in which he gave up a mere three hits, no runs, and struck out nine. It truly looked as if the AL Central leaders had the Rays’ number in this one.
A totally stunning Byron Buxton catch in the third inning was one example of how the Twins defense kept the Rays at bay, and also served as an impressive reminder that Kevin Kiermaier wasn’t the only Platinum Glove winner in the building.
Everything about this play is amazing. An underrated part is C.J. Cron’s “sure, why not?” reaction when the ball lands perfectly in his glove from 300 feet away. pic.twitter.com/VHOGHzCzYE— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) June 2, 2019
As for the Rays, Ryan Yarbrough was... not great. He went seven innings, giving up 10 hits, that amounted to seven earned runs, walked two, and collected only four strikeouts over his 92 pitches.
But the seventh inning. Let’s talk about the seventh inning.
Almost immediately after the Twins lost a challenge to look at a tag on Willy Adames at third base, Kevin Kiermaier singled to score Adames, the first Rays run of the game. The hits, quite literally kept on coming. Austin Meadows hit a deep single, scoring Kiermaier and Choi. Then Brandon Lowe hit a single that just got profoundly messy with a Twins throwing error, resulting in runs scored by Meadows and Zunino. Suddenly a 7-0 game was 7-5.
The Twins got two back in the eighth on a two run blast from Jonathan Schoop (making up for his previous inning errors), both runs were credited to Chaz Roe. The lead was cut again, though, because in the bottom of the eighth inning, the recently called-up Christian Arroyo hit a two-run homer of his own, bringing the score to 9-7.
Oliver Drake came on to work a scoreless ninth inning, and looked pretty solid overall. Then it was all down to the bottom of the ninth to see if the Rays could make a little comeback magic.
Alas, Taylor Rogers had the Rays number, and they weren’t even able to get a hit in the bottom of the ninth.