On Friday night the Tampa Bay Rays welcomed the Los Angeles Angels to Tropicana Field to open a three game set. After taking the final two games from the Boston Red Sox, the Rays continued their winning ways against the Angels with a 4-3 win.
Andrew Kittredge took the mound as the opener and quickly surrendered the first run of the game as he gave up a leadoff blast to Shohei Ohtani. Two batters later he would give up his second bomb of the inning to Anthony Rendon.
The Rays quickly answered in the bottom half of the first. Yandy Diaz led off with a single and Ji-Man Choi walked. Wander Franco sent a ball to left field that went off the glove of Taylor Ward, scoring Yandy Diaz. With two men in scoring position, Austin Meadows singled to centerfield and gave the Rays the lead.
Kittredge would toss a scoreless second and gave way to Josh Fleming in the third who allowed the Angels to tie the game after allowing a leadoff double to David Fletcher who would later come around to score.
Fleming would throw three and two thirds innings allowing just the one run, walking one, and striking out two. Kevin Cash would turn to Collin McHugh with two outs and a man on first in the sixth. McHugh, Wisler, and Castillo would combine to record the final ten outs, six of them by way of the strikeout.
For the second night in a row the Rays would capitalize on an opposing pitcher’s lack of control and score the winning run. Rather than a walk-off wild-pitch, Brandon Lowe would take a sweeping slider off the hip with the bases loaded, forcing Yandy Diaz home. The hit by pitch gave the Rays a 4-3 lead that they would not surrender.
As we are always on Wander-Watch, the the #1 prospect in baseball went hitless for the second night in a row, but did score a run.
Both Austin Meadows and Kevin Kiermaier had three hit nights. Despite leaving twenty two men on base, the Rays found a way to scratch across just enough offense for the second night in a row. The win moves their record on the season to 46-31.
The victory marked Kevin Cash’s 500th win as the manager of the Rays.