The Rays opened up a short two game set in the nation’s capital tonight against the world champion Nationals. While the Nats enter the game as the last place team in their division, the American league leading Rays would have no small task ahead.
For the Rays it was Charlie Morton, with just one start under his belt since coming back from his month long stint on the injured list. For the nationals, the always elite Max Scherzer.
Morton, looking to get more length from this outing, looked sharp in the first, but never quite regained his groove after that, allowing two runs in the second and then another in the third. Ultimately he would go five total, regaining some form in his final two frames.
Trevor Richards provided the rest of the pitching for the Rays, throwing a bad luck sixth in which a few jam shots found outfield grass, resulting in another three runs for the Nats.
The Rays offense finally got on the board in the eighth by another home run by Randy Arozarena, his third in two games:
The Rays made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases and chasing Nationals reliever Will Harris before he could finish the final inning. With the hot hitting Arozarena back at the plate, it seemed to be the ideal situation.
But manager Dave Martinez brought in his closer Daniel Hudson, who struck him out to end the game.
The Rays conclude the two game set tomorrow night as Ryan Yarbrough makes his return. The Rays offense looks to bounce back against veteran Anibal Sanchez.