Rays have won 4 series in a row, and are 19-6 in the month of May so far. They look to continue the streak with a quick two game series against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.
Rays also busted out the best uniform in the league, and went full 1990’s nostalgia.
The dial-up Devil Rays pic.twitter.com/v7muQ1JFwK— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 29, 2021
Hey, Tampa Bay. #RingTheBell— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 29, 2021
: https://t.co/HhDxScbmEV // https://t.co/vgbMhIMsON pic.twitter.com/HjHVkfzMI5
At the bottom of the 1st inning, Austin Meadows got things started with a 2-run home run after a Yandy Diaz single, and quickly got the Rays ahead.
Austin Powers. pic.twitter.com/hc5itsMzSr— MLB (@MLB) May 29, 2021
I know there is some arguments whether or not Ryan Yarborough should start a game, or be the bulk guy behind an opener, however I do think it says a lot that the Rays let him start games, especially against a righty heavy lineup like Philadelphia. Yarby didn’t run into a lot of trouble for the first four innings, only giving up a two walks, a couple of hits and striking out eight!
Yarbrough did run into some trouble in the 5th inning. After striking out Alec Bohm, Yarbrough issued a walk to Odubel Herrera then a single to Roman Quinn to put to runners on first and second base with 1 out. After getting Ronald Torreyes to a 2-2 count, Yarby tried to sneak a cutter by on the outside corner, but Torreyes slapped it into right field for a bases clearing double.
Tie game at 2, and that would be it for Ryan Yarbrough - he pitched 4.1 innings, gave up 3 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 2 walks, and 8 Strikeouts. Ryan Thompson relieved Ryan Yarbrough and was able to get the Rays out of the inning without any further damage.
Rays were facing Zack Wheeler and after the Austin Meadows 1st inning HR, the Rays didn’t have another baserunner until the 5th inning with a Joey Wendle single, but Wheeler struck out Francisco Mejia and Kevin Kiermaier.
As impressive as Ryan Yarbrough’s eight strikeouts were, Zack Wheeler racked up fourteen strikeouts over seven innings against Rays’ hitters. The reason for the abundance of strikeouts? Here’s a couple of images:
Wheeler is the happiest pitcher in the world. Sure, it's good day for the #Rays, too. pic.twitter.com/geNoV0on0F— Homin Lee (@Homein22) May 29, 2021
Yarby’s chart isn’t as flashy, but still benefited from a rather large strike zone.
#Rays and #Phillies combined for 31 strikeouts, 4 shy of MLB record for a 9-inning game— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 29, 2021
Just because of the 14 strikeouts doesn’t mean the Rays were completely lost at the plate. In the 6th inning, Yandy Diaz and Austin Meadows worked back to back walks with 2 outs, and brought Ji-Man Choi up to the plate, who singled to give the Rays a 3-2 lead.
Rays take a 3-2 lead, but old friend Matt Joyce didn’t want the Rays to get too comfortable, and hit a solo shot off of LHP Jeffrey Springs to tie the game at 3 after 7 innings.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, the Rays got a break as Randy Arozarena beat out a ground ball out for an infield single. A strikeout and intentional walk put two runners on with one out, and brought another old friend Jose Alvarado to face Austin Meadows. After Meadows was down 0-2, he hit a soft chopper between the pitchers mound and first base line, which Alvarado tried to field.
4-3 Rays and bases are loaded for Manuel Margot, who struck out looking on a beautifully located fastball by Alvarado. Kevin Cash opted to bring in Mike Brosseau for Joey Wendle, and after working a full count, Brosseau got the walk and gave the rays another run.
Rays have a 5-3 lead going into the 9th inning, and go to new friend J.P. Feyereisen for the save, who got a couple of groundouts (one from an amazing Taylor Walls play) and a strikeout on the rising fastball to get the strikeouts.
Booyah— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 29, 2021
Final score: 5-3 Rays win. They move to 33-20 on the season, and will look for the two-game sweep tomorrow with Colin McHugh open followed by a Josh Fleming bulk role. Gametime is 1:10 pm.
Lose on Devil Rays Day? As if! #RaysWin pic.twitter.com/c6wsdFsfte— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 29, 2021