The Rays are at home and continue a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels after taking the first game, 4-3. Shane McClanahan takes the mound for the Rays against former-Ray Alex Cobb on Devil Rays Night.
Saturdays are for the Devil Rays pic.twitter.com/W1Qicb4GUu— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 26, 2021
McClanahan got the game going by getting Ohtani out on one pitch and followed that up with a pair of strikeouts to end the first. In the bottom of the first, Wander Franco lined out to right despite an exit velocity of 110 mph.
McClanahan worked around a leadoff walk in the second for a scoreless inning. Austin Meadows led off the bottom-half of the inning with a single up the middle. Two outs later, Manuel Margot stepped into the box. With one strike in the count, Margot turned around a low-and-inside sinker and sent it 398 feet to make it 2-0 Rays. The ball left Margot’s bat at 108 mph.
The lead didn’t last long as McClanahan found himself facing terrible luck in the top of the third. Juan Lagares started the inning with a double and was moved up to third on a single by David Fletcher. Shohei Ohtani scored Lagares on a double to right field. Despite an exit velocity of 29 mph, the ball bounced over Choi’s head for the first Angels run.
Following the run, Luis Rengifo struck out for the inning’s first out. Anthony Rendon joined in on the BABIP party by hitting a blooper to right field that had an exit velocity of 66 mph. Despite an expected batting average of .080, the ball got down and both runners scored to make it 3-2 Angels. A walk and an error loaded the bases for the Angels but McClanahan got the out he needed via a flyout to end the inning.
The offense was quiet in the bottom of the third with Wander striking out looking to end the inning. McClanahan worked a much better fourth inning, getting three outs on nine pitches.
In the bottom of the fourth, Randy Arozarena got on with a leadoff single before Ji-Man Choi moved him up to third with a one-out single. Joey Wendle plated Arozarena with a two-out single to tie the game up, but the tie didn’t last long as Brett Phillips hit a triple off of the center field wall to make it 5-3. Phillips sprinted home on a wild pitch by Cobb to make it 6-3 before the inning ended on a groundout.
The scoring continued in the bottom of the fifth with new pitcher Jose Quintana on the mound. Randy Arozarena hit a one-out double to left and moved up to third on a wild pitch. Ji-Man Choi plated Randy with a single to center, making it 7-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mike Zunino added another one with an extremely high but not very deep solo shot into the left field seats to make it 8-3. 108 mph off of the bat was enough to compensate for the 45 degree launch angle as the ball traveled 357 feet.
McClanahan’s day was done after six innings of work and he was good despite some tough luck. He threw 87 pitches and struck out seven, walked two and allowed three runs on four hits. Drew Rasmussen relieved him in the top of the seventh and worked a hitless inning with a strikeout to end it.
Jose Quijada took the mound for the Angels in the bottom of the seventh and he walked Randy Arozarena to start his outing. Arozarena moved up to third after Austin Meadows doubled and scored on a Choi double, making it 9-3. Manuel Margot drew a walk to load the bases.
With one out in the inning, Brett Phillips added two more RBI’s to his name with a single to left to end Quijada’s outing. Mike Zunino struck out before both Brandon Lowe walked, once again loading the bases. Wander walked to score the 12th run of the game and Randy singled in his second plate appearance of the inning to make it 13-3. Austin Meadows flew out to end the inning.
Louis Head took the mound for the Rays in the eighth and induced an inning-ending double play after a one-out single. The Rays offense was finally quieted in the eighth, sending this game into the ninth. Head stayed on the mound and got the first out on two pitches. Two strikeouts later, the Rays completed the win over the Angels.
The offense absolutely exploded after winning a one-run game last night. On the pitching side, the guys that took the mound did what they needed to do, limiting the Angels to three runs. Now at 47-31, the Rays will try and secure the sweep tomorrow afternoon. Ryan Yarbrough will start against Patrick Sandoval, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm inside of Tropicana Field.