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Rays 8, A’s 2: The hits just keep on coming

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The Rays string together seven consecutive hits in the fourth to blow it open against Oakland

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

On a Ryne Stanek Opener day, the Rays pounded the A’s 8-2. They had base runners all day, going in order only in the first and eighth. Willy Adames was the only Rays without a hit. The win moved the Tampa Bay to 45-33, and allowed them to salvage a split they very much needed.

After working a scoreless-but-dicey first, Ryne Stanek walked the leadoff hitter in the second before yielding to Ryan Yarbrough. Yarbs was unable to strand the runner when two singles and a throwing error by Adames made it a 1-0 game.

Meanwhile, against lefty ground ball specialist Brett Anderson, this is the lineup the Rays rolled out:

Not exactly intimidating! I mean, we have two catchers in the lineup! How’s that gonna work out?

Well, just fine, thanks for asking. Especially in the third, when Zunino drew a one out walk, and d’Arnaud did this:

2-1 Rays.

The Rays kept the rally going, when a walk by Pham and a single by Meadows was followed by a double by Garcia.

3-1 Rays.

Matt Chapman did Matt Chapman things to prevent the Rays from tacking on any more.

It didn’t take long for the Rays to get those stolen runs and then some back in the fourth. First, Wendle blooped a leadoff single to left. Heredia followed by putting on in the gap for a double, scoring Wendle all the way from first and making it 4-1.

Two more singles from the catchers followed, scoring Heredia and ending Anderson’s day.

Pham then greeted new pitcher Schlitter with a hard single to center to load the bases. Austin Meadows promptly unloaded them with a double off the wall in left to break this one open. Still nobody out!

Garcia made it seven hits in a row with a single to left to put runners on the corners. But a strikeout from Brosseau ended the streak, and a double play grounder from Adames ended the inning.

Meanwhile, Yarbs did what a bulk guy is supposed to do and chewed up some innings, while holding the A’s off the board most of the day. He did by throwing strikes early (20 of 23 first pitch strikes on the day) and by keeping Oakland hitters off balance, working the cutter in and the changeup away.

A single from Pinder and a double by Semien (and a slip by Heredia) in the seventh let the A’s cut the lead to 8-2 for the final margin. For the day, Yarbrough worked six innings, giving up five hits and one run. He struck out three and walked no one.

Chaz Roe kept the ball in the yard in a clean eighth, and Colin Poche worked a clean ninth.

The Rays have a much needed off day tomorrow before they travel to Minnesota to face the Twins on Tuesday. Game time is at 8:10 pm.

Notes

  • The Rays kicked off the Mike Brosseau Era with single through the right side in his first big league at bat.
  • We should all be so lucky as to have friends like Brosseau.
  • Joey Wendle had a three hit day, none of which exceeded 69 mph. #grit
  • Avisail Garcia also had a three hit day. His were considerably harder.
  • Finally, let’s relive that magical fourth: