For the first time since 2004, the Rays are in Petco Park to begin a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.
Diego Castillo opened this game for the Rays, while Joey Lucchesi and his very funky delivery started for the Padres.
Guillermo Heredia started this game on the right note with a seven-pitch plate appearance, but struck out. Travis d’Arnaud drew a walk, bringing Lucchesi’s pitch count up to 13 after only two batters. Jesus Aguilar grounded out before Avisail Garcia took a first pitch “churve” and sent it 388 feet into the left field seats, giving the Rays an early 2-0 lead.
Matt Duffy drew a walk after the home run but Mike Brosseau grounded out to end the inning, bringing Lucchesi’s pitch count up to 27 pitches after one inning. Interestingly, after Aguilar’s flyout, Aguilar went to Garcia and Duffy and whispered something to them, presumably giving them hints about something he saw with Lucchesi. The tip clearly worked as both hitters got on base.
On the first pitch in the bottom of the first, Fernando Tatis Jr. reached base after Matt Duffy misplayed a grounder hit his way, resulting in an error. Tatis advanced to second when Manny Machado grounded out, and Eric Hosmer scored Tatis with a double to right field. Castillo was not charged for the run against, and no additional runs scored in the inning.
Castillo’s day was done after one inning, and with his spot due up third in the top of the second, Jalen Beeks pinch-hit for Castillo but struck out to end the inning.
Castillo worked one inning and allowed two hits, throwing 13 pitches with 10 for strikes. Austin Pruitt entered the game to pitch the bulk of tonight’s innings.
Manuel Margot hit an opposite-field leadoff double to begin the bottom of the second, and after a passed ball by Travis d’Arnaud and a strikeout of Luis Urias, the pitcher Joey Lucchesi drove home Margot with a broken-bat single up the middle, tying this game at 2-2.
Guillermo Heredia drew a leadoff walk to start the top of the third, and with one out, Jesus Aguilar ripped a line drive that was going to go into left field for a single, but Fernando Tatis Jr. made a spectacular catch to prevent that from happening.
Statcast’s expected batting average on this line drive was .840, but it wasn’t the end of the inning. Avisail Garcia hit a single that moved Heredia up to third, and Matt Duffy drove Heredia home to give the Rays a 3-2 lead. Mike Brosseau struck out to end the inning. At this point, this game entered cruise control, with no runs being scored for the next few innings.
Lucchesi’s day was done after 4.2 innings of work, allowing three runs while walking three and striking out six. Lucchesi allowed five hits while throwing 94 pitches with only 54 for strikes. Luis Perdomo entered the game to record the final out in the fifth and pitch the sixth.
Austin Pruitt was lifted for pinch hitter Austin Meadows in the top of the sixth, marking the end of a solid outing when one was needed. Pruitt tossed four innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits while striking out four. Pruitt threw 56 pitches, 39 for strikes. Chaz Roe was brought in to pitch the bottom of the sixth.
Roe pitched a hitless inning but walked one, striking out three batters. Francisco Mejia was the victim to Roe’s best strikeout on the night, absolutely flailing on a fantastic inside slider.
Trey Wingenter pitched the top of the seventh for the Friars and allowed a leadoff walk to Guillermo Heredia. Heredia stole second base after d’Arnaud flew out, and Jesus Aguilar drove Heredia home with a weak single to center field, 4-2 Rays.
Avisail Garcia hit a double to put two runners in scoring position with only one out for Matt Duffy, and Duffy drove them both home with a single to left field, extending the lead to 6-2. Wingenter got out of the inning without allowing any further damage, but the Rays did their job in separating this game from the one-run tilt it had been.
Oliver Drake was brought in to pitch the bottom of the seventh against the top of San Diego’s lineup, and Drake worked a 1-2-3 inning to send this game into the eighth. Carl Edwards Jr. entered the game to pitch for the Padres, and Edwards had himself an extremely forgettable night, allowing four runs on two hits while walking two batters.
Edwards allowed a leadoff single to Willy Adames before walking Eric Sogard. A wild pitch moved both runners up. Guillermo Heredia walked before Travis d’Arnaud drove home Adames on a groundout. Jesus Aguilar scored Sogard on a fielder’s choice, and Heredia scored on a wild pitch. When Edwards was pulled for Matt Strahm, Oliver Drake got in on the fun and plated Aguilar. After all of the run-scoring festivities, the Rays were up 10-2.
Drake stayed in to pitch the bottom of the eighth and once again threw a 1-2-3 inning. Drake pitched two hitless innings, striking out two while throwing only 25 pitches. The final out in the inning was caught by Kevin Kiermaier, robbing Francisco Mejia of a home run to send this game into the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, second baseman Ian Kinsler entered the game to pitch for the Padres, marking the first time in his career he’d take the mound. Kinsler allowed no runs, although he did load the bases on two walks and a hit.
We've got a first time— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 13, 2019
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Andrew Kittredge entered the game for the Rays to try and close this one out, facing San Diego’s 7-8-9 hitters. After striking out the leadoff batter, Kittredge allowed a single, bringing Ian Kinsler up to the plate. Kinsler hit a two-run home run into the left field seats, doubling the number of runs for the Padres and more than likely giving him tonight’s game MVP award. Kittredge struck out Tatis and recorded the game-ending groundout.
After a very long, fun but seemingly never-ending game, the Rays found themselves 20 games above .500 for the first time this season after taking the series opener against the Padres. The middle game of the series takes place tomorrow night at 10 pm with Brendan McKay taking the mound for the Rays against Eric Lauer and the Padres.